Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse

Maryland swimmer plans historic 24-mile swim to Baltimore's Inner Harbor 

Katie Pumphrey will embark on the 12–13-hour swim sometime between June 24-27.

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Katie Pumphrey, a local Maryland ultra-marathon swimmer, is set to embark on a historic 24-mile swim from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The swim, originally scheduled for May, was postponed due to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The new window for the swim is June 24-27, weather permitting. 

Pumphrey’s route will take her through the area where the Key Bridge once stood, making it an emotional journey. 

“I’m anticipating having a lot of feelings swimming through that area,” Pumphrey said. “When I really started dreaming of this swim – and even a decade ago when I thought about what it would be like to do a long swim into the Inner Harbor, I definitely thought a lot about how it would feel to swim under the Key Bridge. So, my heart goes out to everyone who has been impacted by that.” 

The swim aims to raise funds for logistical support with 10% of the proceeds going to the “Maryland Tough, Baltimore Strong, Key Bridge Fund,” established by the Baltimore Community Foundation to assist those affected by the bridge collapse. 

“All those resources will go to anyone that’s impacted by the collapse of the Key Bridge,” Pumphrey said. 

Pumphrey, who has previously swum around the island of  Manhattan and crossed the English Channel twice, will begin her swim around 3 a.m. at the Bay Bridge. She expects the journey to take 12-13 hours to complete. 

Throughout the swim, she must adhere to strict rules, including not touching anything or anyone. 

“So I can’t get on the boat and take a break, I can’t hang onto the boat, and I can’t hang on another swimmer. Once you are in, you are in,” she explained. 

For updates or to make a donation, visit Pumphrey’s website. NBC4 will also provide coverage of her historic swim. 

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