Swimmer rescued crossing lake for charity talks

August 8, 2011 4:39:19 AM PDT
An endurance athlete is recuperating after swimming all the way from New Buffalo, Mich., to Chicago.

Daren Wendell had to be helped out of Lake Michigan at Navy Pier Saturday night after the swim, which covered nearly 50 miles and lasted more than 34 hours.

He made it all the way to the waters just off Oak Street Beach where a strong current prevented him from reaching the shore. Wendell called the swim the most difficult thing he has ever done.

"It is unbelievable, the amount of physical pain I was going through, from the wet suit burn, my left rotator cuff was almost out of socket. The water spreads your fingers apart, as you can imagine, so you are clawing at the wated. All these variables make it more difficult the more and more you go," Wendell said.

Wendell says he never thought about quitting because his swim was a fundraiser for Active Water, a nonprofit organization dedicated to resolving the water crisis in Zambia, Africa.

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