Beer-chugging Canadian sorry for swimming to America

By Cottage LifeCottage Life

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It’s safe to say that at one point or another, likely on a hot summer day while lounging on the dock with nothing to do but watch the boats go by, someone you know has gazed out onto the water and asked: “Do you think we could swim across the entire lake?”

But no matter what swimming challenge you may have conquered at the cottage, there’s no way it beats what a Windsor man did earlier this week—and that’s a good thing.

After being released from jail on Tuesday, 47-year-old John Morillo apologized for drinking eight beers and then swimming across the Detroit River, purely to prove to his buddies he could.

While drinking and swimming may not be the best combination on any occasion, Morillo’s performance led to a joint search mission between the Canadian and U.S. coast guards, which included three boats and a helicopter. His neighbour called the police once she lost sight of Morillo in the water—perhaps the one smart move in the entire story.

According to The Windsor Star, this swim has been years in the making. That’s right, it wasn’t an impulse decision. Apparently, it all started when Morillo heard a story about his grandmother, who swam from Amherstburg to Boblo Island. The beer may have, however, played a role in Morillo finally deciding to go ahead with the swim.

“I’ve been telling people I’m going to swim across the river for years and they’re like ‘yah, yah, blah, blah, you can’t make it.’ So, I don’t know, last night I just decided it was the time to go,” Morillo told the Star.

Of course, hindsight is always 20-20: “As soon as I saw the helicopters going by and the boats looking for me, I was like, ‘Oh, this is really stupid.’”

According to reports, the coastguard picked him up on the Canadian side of the river around 1 a.m., about two hours after he first jumped in the water.

In the end, he did make it. “I’m a very strong swimmer and I had total confidence in it,” Morillo said. “But at the same time, it’s not worth it,” he added, considering he’s been banned from all waterfront property in the city, will face a $5,000 to $25,000 fine for swimming in a shipping channel, and he’s upset his mom.

“She just hung up on me,” Morillo told the Star. “She said, ‘You’re just so stupid.’”


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