Maniac Swims the Mississippi — and Survives


KMOV filmed the 41-year-old's return to land. - KMOV
  • KMOV
  • KMOV filmed the 41-year-old's return to land.

Some madman decided to swim across the Mississippi River — scaring his friend into thinking he'd drowned.

The unnamed 41-year-old slipped into the water on Sunday evening at the edge of Cliff Cave Park and set out for the Illinois side, Fox 2 reported. He had to angle himself upriver to fight the current.

Meanwhile, the friend, who couldn't find him and figured he was struggling for his life somewhere within the muddy water, called 911. That brought emergency responders from Mehville, St. Louis County and Jefferson County. News crews arrived.

Cliff Cave isn't exactly a place to jack around. People with a little history in the area remember it as the site of a tragic drowning of six people, including four boys, in 1993.

Somehow, this guy survived. Fox 2 reported that he told fire officials he swam to Illinois and back. Alexis Zotos of KMOV reports that he was helped ashore by boat.

He was checked out by paramedics, but was apparently OK.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.