OTSEGO, Minn. – Crestliner is proud to announce its participation in the "Swim For Their Sacrifice" challenge through the Legacies Alive organization, which honors America's fallen service members. Navy combat veteran Chris Ring pledged to swim the entire length of the Mississippi River, and Crestliner provided a VT 18 for Chris' safety team to follow him in, and to ensure Chris could enter and exit the water safely at any time.
"When Legacies Alive approached us about supporting this cause, we were immediately onboard," said Erin Streit, marketing coordinator for Crestliner. "Chris' swim represents many of the qualities we hold dear here at Crestliner – strength, determination, loyalty. Helping him complete a challenge for such an important cause is truly an honor."
Amy Garber, a Gold Star Family member from Brainerd, Minn., learned this summer of Ring’s plan to swim the Mississippi. She felt strongly that he and his team would need a boat that was reliable, safe and had a presence on the water. Garber's friend connected her to Crestliner National Pro Team member Jason Durham, who then put her in touch with Streit at Crestliner. Before long, plans were underway for Crestliner to provide a boat especially for the cause.
The completed 2016 Crestliner VT 18 came packaged with a 115-hp Mercury FourStroke engine and Karavan trailer. A large American flag and an Honor and Remember flag were fastened to the stern for extra visibility on the water.
"It has been an honor to be a part of this amazing journey, and Crestliner's contribution has meant so much," Garber said.
Ring began his swim on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day, at the headwaters of the Mississippi in Minnesota's Itasca State Park. His 2,552-mile journey will take about six months, with him swimming an average of 14 miles a day. Ring is currently in Arkansas and plans to finish his swim in late November where the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico. When he finishes his swim, Ring will become the first American to swim the length of the Mississippi.
To learn more about Legacies Alive and to track Crestliner's journey with Ring, visit LegaciesAlive.com, facebook.com/legaciesalive or facebook.com/crestlinerboats.