ATLANTA A retired Maine from Georgia says he’s planning a daring swim across the Mississippi River in handcuffs with his hands behind his back, shackles around his legs and a blindfold to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Jay Platt, 45, says he will attempt to cross the swift-moving river while wearing the constraints, and won’t try to remove them unless an emergency arises.
He plans to enter the river in Mississippi south of Memphis, and swim to the Arkansas side on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
“It’s highly dangerous,” Platt told The Associated Press on Friday. “I want to stress to people that it’s not something they should try.”
Platt, who lives in Valdosta, Ga., taught water survival skills while in the Marine Corps.
In November 2005, Platt swam 1.66 miles from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco in 55-degree water with his hands and feet bound to raise awareness for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, according to a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps.
Now, as he prepares for the upcoming Mississippi River swim, Platt has health issues to contend with as well.
He said he has brain and kidney tumors from von Hippel-Lindau Disease. The condition is a rare, genetic disorder which leads to the abnormal growth of tumors, according to a description from the National Institutes of Health.
Platt said that he plans to have at least one swimmer with him who has keys to the handcuffs if things go badly.
He said he’s attempting the swim as a fund-raiser for the Wounded Warriors Project, whose mission is to honor and empower injured service members.
He said he also hopes the swim will inspire people who are older than 40, and people who battling serious health conditions.