Lake Mary teacher swimming St. Johns River, raising awareness of river's impact

Luther Davis was 3 days into his 160-mile trip on river Tuesday

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

LAKE MARY, Fla. - Lake Mary High School teacher Luther Davis is spending this spring break swimming the St. Johns River.

On Tuesday, Luther was three days into his 160-mile trip on the St. Johns River.

"I'm not a satellite in space looking down on it. I'm in the river. I feel it. I taste it. I'm kind of one with it, as weird as it sounds," Davis said.

Davis said that he has swum 60 miles so far on his journey from Sanford to Jacksonville. He said that he has counted dozens of alligators so far.

"I think our current count is 37 of those alligators, but they seem to be minding their own business. Haven't had any close encounters yet," Davis said.

He said he came up with the idea two years ago, mixing both his passion for swimming and for the science of the St. Johns River.

"Actually make this event more special than just some guy that's kind of wacko and willing to go out there and swim the river, why don't I go out there and actually promote the St. John's River and how special it is?" Davis said.

He is relying on volunteers, including students such as Lauren Zimlich, to help.

"I think it's awesome that Mr. Davis is taking kind of the beauty that everybody knows about the river and transforming it (into) also thinking about how important is," Zimlich said.

Davis hopes to complete his swim Sunday, and hopes the trip raises awareness about the effects the river has on Florida and future generations.

You can track Davis in real time on his website here.

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