Cornerstone Strength Swim Campaign - Detroit
“If one person can swim pulling a ton of bricks and keep their head above water, I believe we won’t sink from the weight of our burdens if we all pull together.” ~ Jim Dreyer
Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of
the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone
is Christ Jesus himself. ~ Ephesians 2:20
In a demonstration of "Cornerstone Strength," which reflects the Christian faith he shares with Habitat for Humanity, Jim "The Shark" Dreyer set out to pull a ton of bricks and swim 22 miles alone across Lake St. Clair to Detroit on August 5, 2013. He swam against the current for most of the way, got a little lost the second night, and arrived on the Belle Isle beach almost 52 hours later, pulling a half-ton of bricks after losing half his cargo in rough seas.
While Jim was disappointed not to pull the full ton for the entire distance, it's safe to say no one else had ever swum 22 miles with a half-ton of bricks ... which is a mile further than the width of the English Channel. Most importantly, the lost bricks were later recovered to sell with the others as commemorative items for charity!
Following the City of Detroit filing for bankruptcy, The Shark partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Michigan for the fundraising swim to symbolically "ReBuild Michigan" one brick at a time.
While bilging water and attempting to fix a frayed rope to the dinghy of bricks that eventually got away, Jim survived a harrowing experience of getting tangled in lines underwater while being crushed between the two 1,000-pound loads in the waves.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13
Meteorologist Peter Chan
Steve & Becky Deer
Jim "The Shark" Dreyer swam self-sufficiently without a support boat, towing two dinghies ... each filled with 1,000 pounds of bricks. His TRAIN OF PAIN also carried all of his supplies and included lights and a radar target to avoid passing freighters and other boat traffic. He used GPS and landmarks (when visible and coherent) to stay just west of the international border and find his way to Detroit.
Aerial view as shown on
Good Morning America
Limping into Detroit with one battered dinghy