UPDATE: Waterloo man sets date for Alcatraz swim - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Waterloo man sets date for Alcatraz swim

Posted: Updated:
WATERLOO (KWWL) - A Cedar Valley man planning a swim from Alcatraz has set the date.

Tom Beener, 64, will swim from the island prison back to mainland California on July 29. He's been training for months at the Waterloo YMCA.

KWWL first brought you this story in May.


ORIGINAL STORY: They say no man is an island, but Tom Beener wants to escape from one.

"You know, no one escaped from Alcatraz, all the prisoners are dead," he said. "You know, it is what it is."

Beener is 64 years old.

"Well, on the dating websites, I'm 54, but that's another conversation," he said.

He's training at the Waterloo YMCA for the swim of his life, from the island prison of Alcatraz, back to mainland California.

"A lot of people can swim 1.3 miles," Beener said. "But doing it in those water temperatures is a different experience."

So he puts in his laps, 5 days a week, back and forth in the pool, thinking of the dark and chilly water of the bay.

"A large part of this is a fear of the unknown," Beener said. "I know I'm not going to get eaten by a shark, I know I'm not going to drown, but you never know."

He prepares by sitting in bathtubs of ice, and swimming. Lots of swimming.

"A lot of people say, 'Why would you want to do this? You're nuts,'" Beener said. "Arguably, that's true."

But soon, he'll book his rescue boat as a precaution, and dive in.

"I plan on doing this in July," he said. "I just have to set a date."

And he said he's waiting for one moment of the swim in particular.

"They say one of the coolest things to do is when you're 200 yards out, turn on your back and look up at the Golden Gate Bridge," Beener said. "They say it's a sight you'll never forget."

But still, it's tough to escape the fear of the unknown.

"I think it will change me in a positive way," he said. "Knowing that I can do something I set my mind to."

"I know I'm going to survive," he said with a laugh. "But, you never know."

  • NEWSNEWSMore>>

  • UPDATE: Missing Waterloo man located

    UPDATE: Missing Waterloo man located

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:29:43 GMT
    Richard Taylor, 79, of Waterloo went missing Saturday morning.Richard Taylor, 79, of Waterloo went missing Saturday morning.
    Family and friends are worried they haven't seen or heard from a 79-year-old Waterloo man who uses a pacemaker since this weekend.More >>
    Family and friends are worried they haven't seen or heard from a 79-year-old Waterloo man who uses a pacemaker since this weekend.More >>
  • Tax-free holiday this weekend in Iowa

    Tax-free holiday this weekend in Iowa

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:40:17 GMT
    Mark your calendars for this coming weekend ?and head out to stock your closets with back to school clothes. Iowa retailers anticipate another big turnout for this year's sales tax holiday, Friday, Aug. 1, and Saturday, Aug. 2.During the two-day period, retailers waive sales tax on most clothing and shoes priced below $100. This applies at big-box retailers as well as local stores.State lawmakers approved the annual tax holiday in 1999 to give families a break as they buy back-to-school cloth...More >>
    Mark your calendars for this coming weekend ?and head out to stock your closets with back to school clothes. Iowa retailers anticipate another big turnout for this year's sales tax holiday, Friday, Aug. 1, and Saturday, Aug. 2.During the two-day period, retailers waive sales tax on most clothing and shoes priced below $100. This applies at big-box retailers as well as local stores.State lawmakers approved the annual tax holiday in 1999 to give families a break as they buy back-to-school cloth...More >>
  • Caught on radar: Beer-loving bugs swarm in Midwest

    Caught on radar: Beer-loving bugs swarm in Midwest

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:10:16 GMT
    Mayflies have begun hatching in the Mississippi River, emerging from the water in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and other surfaces and leave behind a slimy mess.More >>
    Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and leave behind slimy messes. They've already been blamed for at least one car crash this week in...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.