For Make-A-Wish, Dad attempts to swim across the Strait of Georgia

A local father raised more than $5,000 for a children’s charity this summer after attempting to swim across the Strait of Georgia.

Merville’s father, Jan Kotyk, jumped into the water near his home at 6 a.m. and began swimming toward mainland British Columbia, 28 kilometers away. In late August, he spent 13 hours in the water to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

He recently wrote a check to the charity for the event’s proceeds of $5,165.

In an interview with the Record, Kotyk shared details from the swim. He said he narrowly missed his target after encountering some problems on the home stretch.

“I basically swam in the same spot for a little over an hour and a half,” Kotyk said.

After swimming past Savary Island, Jan encountered a strong current. His team, including his wife, brother and brother-in-law, resigned shortly afterwards, in the 13th hour.

The father said he organized the fundraiser to thank the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which donated a tent trailer to the Kotyks last year.

It was the wish of his 10-year-old son, who was born with a serious illness. The boy is healthy now, Kotyk said, but Make-A-Wish still granted the family’s wish last year, prompting father and son to plan camping trips to China Beach.

Kotyk said he was grateful to everyone who donated and supported the fundraiser.

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