Blind swimmers complete historic swim from Alcatraz - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

UPDATE

Blind swimmers complete historic swim from Alcatraz

Katie Cuppy (Source: Foundation for Blind Children) Katie Cuppy (Source: Foundation for Blind Children)
Tanner Robinson (Source: Foundation for Blind Children) Tanner Robinson (Source: Foundation for Blind Children)
Max Ashton (Source: CBS 5 News) Max Ashton (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Three blind swimmers from the Valley have completed a historic swim across the San Francisco Bay.

They are the first blind swimmers to accomplish the feat. The 18th annual "Alcatraz Invitational" is a 1.25 mile swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco.

Max Ashton, 18, finished in just over fifty minutes.

Katie Cuppy, 19, and Tanner Robinson, 24, both finished just over an hour and fifteen minutes.

It is another spot in the records books for Max Ashton.

Max is used to being a trailblazer. He climbed Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro at age 13. He has also hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim.

Now he'll take on the cold water and unforgiving currents of the San Francisco Bay.

"I like adventures and challenges in my life, and I just need something to keep me going," said Max.

Swimming in a straight line is the biggest challenge for these visually-impaired swimmers. The group has had plenty of practice doing open water swims in Lake Pleasant.

Max and the others each have three guides, one on each side who will nudge him if he veers off course. The third guide lags slightly behind in order to make sure everyone stays together.

"We're going to show the world that having a visual impairment is not going to stop you from doing things you want to do," says Max's father Marc Ashton, who is also CEO of the Phoenix-based Foundation for Blind Children.

Marc Ashton has been swimming side by side with his son for the four months they have been training for the Alcatraz swim.

"Quite honestly, he's pushing me. I never swam before either, and I probably wouldn't be here if Max wasn't doing this," says Marc.

Max is not only inspiring others who are blind, but those who have no problems with eyesight.

"It's to kind of show people that because I'm blind, it doesn't really matter and I can do anything anyone else can do," says Max.

The race is 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.

"They set their minds to it and they trained hard for it and now its time. Now they get to shine," says Marc Ashton.

The Foundation for Blind Children has raised nearly $32,000 dollars, just short of their campaign goal of $35,000.

To find out more about the group or to donate click HERE.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Jones County church burglary suspects in custody

    Jones County church burglary suspects in custody

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 9:02 PM EDT2017-07-27 01:02:07 GMT
    Roderick ZamoraRoderick Zamora

    The Jones County Sheriff's Department arrested two suspects after a second church in the area was burglarized on Monday morning.  Surveillance footage of the Indian Springs Baptist Church showed a white male and white female break into the church and steal an undetermined amount of cash. Deputies were able to positively identify Roderick Zamora, 30, of Ovett, who was taken into custody on Wednesday, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Dept. press release.  Zamora la...

    More >>

    The Jones County Sheriff's Department arrested two suspects after a second church in the area was burglarized on Monday morning.  Surveillance footage of the Indian Springs Baptist Church showed a white male and white female break into the church and steal an undetermined amount of cash. Deputies were able to positively identify Roderick Zamora, 30, of Ovett, who was taken into custody on Wednesday, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Dept. press release.  Zamora la...

    More >>
  • USM National Defense Class makes final presentaions

    USM National Defense Class makes final presentaions

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 8:45 PM EDT2017-07-27 00:45:02 GMT
    Students in the University of Southern Mississippi's 'Hacking 4 Defense' course presented potential solutions to Department of Defense and Intelligence Community problems on Wednesday. The class gives students hands-on experience in understanding and working with the DOD, Homeland Security and the Intelligence Community on actual problems they currently face, according to a Southern Miss press release. The students gave their presentations on Wednesday evening in Scianna Hall o...More >>
    Students in the University of Southern Mississippi's 'Hacking 4 Defense' course presented potential solutions to Department of Defense and Intelligence Community problems on Wednesday. The class gives students hands-on experience in understanding and working with the DOD, Homeland Security and the Intelligence Community on actual problems they currently face, according to a Southern Miss press release. The students gave their presentations on Wednesday evening in Scianna Hall o...More >>
  • Cancer survivor receives hundreds of birthday cards

    Cancer survivor receives hundreds of birthday cards

Powered by Frankly