Over 100 swimmers came out to participate in this year’s Red Devil Swim on Sunday, September 5, at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett.
Swimmers had the option of swimming a full mile, half-mile or quarter-mile course. The event continued as the main fundraiser for the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue, a group of dedicated lifeguards and ocean rescue swimmers who train year-round and provide a quick response to water emergencies. They also provide water protection for numerous triathlons and open-water swims and paddle events.
EHVOR Lieutenant Craig Brierley said that the 129 swimmers who participated raised close to $10,000. Chief David Rossano said everyone’s participation was much appreciated.
“It was a challenging swim this year in that the chop was not optimal,” Rossano explained. “We promote the event as a fun fundraiser for EHVOR. Some people come to race, but that’s not what it really is about. There was a large participation from the junior lifeguards and the Hurricanes swim team. In the eyes of Ocean Rescue, they were all winners.”
EHVOR member John Ryan Jr. said that East Hampton town and village support the organization tremendously, but likened the Red Devil Swim to that of local fire department fundraisers, such as a chicken barbecue.
“We have monthly meetings where we have to get dinner for everyone, and additional things such as shirts and gear that signifies who we are out on the water,” he explained. “We need those type of things in order for our organization to function as well as we have and for us to continue to have our meetings and drills and trainings. The swim is definitely a big fundraiser and we appreciate the support that the community brings.”