Eds: Adds with spokeswoman saying swimmer signaled he was doing well, restores background. With AP Photos. AP Video.
CLAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The Shark is in the water. And he will be for a while.
Long-distance swimmer Jim Dreyer, who calls himself "The Shark," jumped into Lake St. Clair near the Michigan-Canada border on Monday morning to begin what he hopes will be a 22-mile success story — all while hauling a ton of bricks.
The soon-to-be-50-year-old planned to come ashore 30 hours later on Tuesday afternoon at Detroit's Belle Isle to greet fans, well-wishers and representatives of Habitat for Humanity, the charity that inspired Dreyer to undertake his latest swim.
He was just beyond the one-third point at 7:45 p.m. EDT Monday, a monitoring system showed, and spokeswoman and friend Katrina Murphy said he texted her that he was doing fine.
A 22-mile swim across Lake St. Clair is like a dip in the water for a guy who has direct crossings of all five Great Lakes under his swim belt.
So to make it interesting, Dreyer is carrying two dinghies filled with 334 bricks. And he's swimming solo without a support boat.
At a weight of 6 pounds per brick, the motivational speaker from Byron Center, Mich., is towing more than 2,000 pounds behind him. Dreyer calls it his "train of pain."
After his crew of three loaded up the dinghies with bricks, food, drink and other essentials for the trip Monday morning, Dreyer waded out into the waters off of the Clinton River Boat Club in Clay Township near Algonac.
He donned his wetsuit, took a group photo and the crew affixed the dinghies to Dreyer's ankles. He then looked in the distance, gazing at the Renaissance Center towers that comprise General Motors' headquarters.