Travel Channel to feature the unlikely story of Grove City swimmer Walter Poenisch

The Travel Channel will air a segment Wednesday, Sept. 19., on Walter Poenisch, whose 1978 swim from Cuba to Florida at age 65 was so unlikely it still sounds like fiction.

Even 40 years later, it sounds a bit like fiction.

A 65-year-old Grove City baker with a passion for marathon swimming persuades Fidel Castro to allow him to attempt, as a peace gesture, a 128.8-mile crossing from Cuba to Florida.

More than 34 hours later, Walter Poenisch lands in the Florida Keys to become the first person to swim the Florida Straits separating the two countries. He saw it as a way to lessen tensions between Cold War adversaries.

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