Fire Rescue employees take first in Open Water Challenge

JOSH-ASHLEY-LUIS-ETCHENIQUEHistoric City News was informed that two St Johns County Fire Rescue employees have been recognized for their accomplishments as open water swimmers.

Saturday, May 25, St Johns County Marine Rescue employee 28-year-old Josh Ashley and 59-year-old Firefighter-Engineer Luis Etchenique, each finished first place, in their respective age groups, at the 2013 Ed Gaw Amelia Island Open Water Challenge.

This year’s win for Ashley and Etchenique in the one-mile ocean race, which was nearly cancelled because of the extreme weather conditions, is a reflection on the local public safety employee’s strength and stamina — as they were battling 20-25 mph NE winds, strong currents, and the accompanying rough surf.

Some of the state’s top open water swimmers attend this annual challenge.

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