Ernst Vierkoetter of Cologne, Germany was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1978 as an Honour Swimmer. On 30 August 1926, he became the fastest person to cross the English Channel - besting the record by almost two hours with his France-England time of 12:40.
At the age of 26, he won the first Canadian National Exhibition professional marathon swim over 174 swimmers from around the world. He finished the 21-mile course in 11 hours 45 minutes in water that ranged from 44°-48°F (6.7°-8.9°C) and was dubbed by his nickname, the "Black Shark", for his exploits.
He placed second in the 1928 Canadian National Exhibition race and fifth in the 1930 race. He moved from Germany to Toronto and opened a swimming instruction school, and, until the time of his death on December 13, 1967, acted as coach of the Baraca Club and as an official of the Canadian National Exhibition Swims.