Arizona Swimmers Crush Guinness World Record in Swim Relay

Local Event Increases Visibility of Drowning Impact Awareness Month

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - August 12, 2008) - A total of 234 local Arizona swimmers smashed the Guinness World Record™ for the most participants to swim one length each in the one-hour relay swim on Sunday, August 10 at the Paradise Valley Pool in Phoenix, Arizona. With more than eight minutes remaining to set the record, Coach Joe Zemaitis, organizer of the "Kids Saving Kids Relay," dove in and became the 205th swimmer breaking the previous world record of 204 set by a swim team in England. An additional 29 swimmers completed the distance before the final buzzer sounded.

"After just watching world records fall at the Olympics, our swimmers were really excited to set a record of their own right here in the Valley of the Sun," said Joe Zemaitis, founder and president of the Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training (FAST). "I always believed that our swimmers would break the record, though I am surprised at how fast it all happened, which shows that amazing things can occur when the community comes together to support an important event that increases the importance of water safety."

Most of the 234 finishers are part of the Swim Neptune team, Coach Zemaitis' year round competitive swimming program with five locations throughout Arizona. Phoenix Councilman Claude Mattox, advocate for water safety and a former competitive swimmer, kicked off the race by being the first swimmer. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon sounded the bullhorn to officially start the relay. Coach Zemaitis and the FAST team are now focused on breaking the Guinness World Record 24-hour continuous swim relay on May 1 and 2, 2009.

August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month. The purpose for this historic "Kids Saving Kids Relay" was to bring awareness, visibility and importance of water safety and drowning prevention into the forefront of people's minds.

"When kids get involved, their lives and the lives of those they touch change in the process. If FAST programs can save one child from drowning or near drowning, all of the work will have been worth it," said Coach Zemaitis.

ABOUT FAST -- The FAST Foundation was formed after one of Coach Zemaitis' swim students, Braxton Bilbrey, made his famous 1.4 mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shoreline in May 2006. Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training, a non-profit, 501(c) (3), enables competitive swimmers to teach swimming to small groups of high-risk children and organize, promote and execute water safety events in schools and pools in every community. For more information on FAST, visit

Contact Information: Contact: Tess Dumlao (602) 653-6585