A long swim along the Murray River has come to an end after 120 days for Team Help swimmer Hunter Helmick who has become the first American to swim Australia’s longest river.
He set off on his swim from Corryong in Victoria on November 5 last year and arrived in Goolwa for the final leg on Wednesday.
Hunter has had the support of his father Eric who has swam by his side some of the way and his brother Tuck as boat captain.
They traveled though towns in the Murraylands to inspire and show people that they can do anything they dream
“An endurance swim was not really my life’s dream,” Hunter said.
“But doing something epic that inspires others to live big, there’s a legacy worth leaving behind.”
“Inspiration brings hope, hope is the greatest cure for depression and suicide, so we’re doing something epic.”
As part of the venture, they ran the Take Your Dream Essay Competition to inspire youth to follow their passions.
Five winners were selected including Unity College year 7 student Sophie Pope who wrote about tiger hunting and why it should stop.
Inspiration brings hope, hope is the greatest cure for depression and suicide, so we’re doing something epic.
“I hope that maybe one day I could actually save the tigers,” she said.
When Sophie learned she had won the competition she was surprised, as part of winning, Sophie will feature in their documentary.
Sophie met the crew when they passed through Murray Bridge on Saturday.
Eric said it was great to meet Sophie and that they would get behind her to help make her dream come true.
The crew’s journey through the Murraylands was bitter-sweet though, when they moored their boat in Tailem Bend on Sunday night, their boat was vandalised, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
“We were pretty frustrated that morning… But that is not a true representation of Australia,” Eric said.
He said the team responded well and hoped to speak to the culprits to explain their vision and that there are more important things than vandalism.