Jose 'Johnny' Cortinas of Cuba was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1967 as an Honour Swimmer. He completed a 28 hour 55 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel on 30 August 1952 from Catalina Island to the California mainland to join the 24-hour club. He also completed a 10 hour 45 minute crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar on 21 September 1948 starting from Almansa, but failed in two attempts of the English Channel in 1949.
He attempted to swim from the Farallon Islands to the California mainland, but retired after 6 miles of swimming in the Pacific Ocean. He also attempted to swim across Lake Tahoe in 1952, but had to retired. He then competed in a race across Lake Tahoe on 28 August 1955 against Fred Rogers, but had to be pulled from the water again at the age of 39.
Cortinas also attempted a relay crossing of the Florida Strait together with fellow Cuban marathon swimmer Leo Vigil, Rolando Elejalde and Luciana Nunez from Bahia Honda in Cuba to Key West, Florida to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cuban flag on 1 July 1950.
- 1950 Attempt Across The Florida Strait
- Catalina Channel Swimming Federation website
- International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
- Updated 24-Hour Club
- The Different Generations Of Open Water Swimmers
- Open Water Swimming
- The Art And Magic Of The Open Water
- Swimming Lake Tahoe
- Jose Cortinas Swim From Alcatraz
- Jose Cortinas Attempt of the Catalina Channel
- Jose Cortinas In The English Channel
- Race Across Lake Tahoe