Dozens of people gathered at Freeport Beach Wednesday night to see Mike Ferritto complete the 24.3-mile swim across Lake Erie.
He left Long Point, Canada around 5:20 Wednesday morning, and about 15 hours and 20 minutes later, at age 36, he completed the swim, only handful can claim to have done.
"The conditions were beautiful for, I would say three-quarters of the swim," said Ferritto. "It was actually perfect, like glass."
But the last miles of his swim were tough, especially as he got to the shoreline. That's when he said he began to cramp up, and his shoulder was causing him a lot of pain. He wasn't sure how much more he could take.
"I don't know how far out I was, but there were several points I just, if I didn't have Bob North to coach me out there, I wouldn't have made it. That's for sure."
Mike credited not only Bob, but his entire crew that was with him, his family and friends. His coach Bob North, who has made the swim himself, said this one is all on mike.
"His swim was just incredible," said North. "He showed so much courage at the end there. I don't know, we might had a little problem with the navigation, but he swam incredibly hard at the end. We're very, very proud of what Michael did today."
Mike did this swim to encourage young athletes and raise money for the Lower East Side Gym. He trained along the teens there, and said this swim was for them.
"As for the Lower East Side goes, guys like Matt Deforce who give their lives to help people and never get thanked. That's what coaches do, that's what parents do, that's what loved ones do for the people they care about. That's why I did this."
Mike has raised over $10,000 for the gym, and says he hopes his swim will encourage more people to donate.