A memorial Buzzards Bay Swim

Bob Milne was just trying to keep up with his kids.

Coalition President Mark Rasmussen with swimmer Bob Milne

Swimmer Bob Milne won an award for Top First-Time Fundraiser at the 2015 Buzzards Bay Swim.

“I did a few triathlons on Cape Cod when I was in my 20s,” he said. “But I hadn’t done anything like that in 30 years.”

With encouragement from his 26-year-old son, Bob trained for, and completed, a beginner-level triathlon at the age of 55. Suddenly, he found himself back in the game – so much so that he even attended a triathlon conference in Boston, where he crossed paths with the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

His girlfriend Karen noticed the Buzzards Bay Swim booth right away. Karen’s father, Richard Jackson, lived in Marion and called Buzzards Bay home. He was a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, had served in the U.S. Navy, sailed on Buzzards Bay his whole life, and made it his goal to teach Karen (and her children) to value and appreciate all that the Bay had to offer.

Richard had very recently passed away, which lead Karen to make a heartfelt request of Bob. “She asked me if I would consider doing the Swim in memory of her father,” he recalls. “He lived for the ocean. I was honored to swim in his memory.”

Soon, Karen had signed up to volunteer at the Swim and arranged for the family to come out as a cheering squad. Bob set an impressive fundraising goal: $1,000.

Three months, 97 emails, and 26 generous donors later, Bob had exceed his goal by the day of the Swim, raising $1,080 for the Buzzards Bay Coalition and taking home a prize for Top First-Time Fundraiser. It was an overwhelming show of support for Karen’s dad and for Bob’s fitting tribute.

Both Bob and Karen described their event experience as “a blast” and vowed to return to the Swim every year. It’s a way for them to enjoy a day together on the shores of Buzzards Bay, while doing their part to protect their family’s legacy for future generations.

Bob Milne will be swimming again in honor of Richard Jackson at this year’s Buzzards Bay Swim. Sign up to join Bob and 300 other swimmers in June!

Thank you to our sponsors: Amica Insurance, Anderson Insulation, Citizens Commercial Banking, YMCA Southcoast, Fiber Optic Center, and Whaling City Sound. The Buzzards Bay Swim is a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series event, presented nationally by Toyota. For more information on this national series, please visit waterkeeper.org.

Categories: Events, On the Bay

Swim the Bay, Save the Bay

Buzzards Bay Swim

Celebrate clean water at the Coalition's 27th annual Buzzards Bay Swim on Saturday, June 27, 2020! Join more than 400 others who make a difference to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay. You can swim, volunteer, or cheer on swimmers as they cross outer New Bedford Harbor.

Learn More ›

Related Stories

Teaming up to swim for clean water

Rob Thieler's passion for open-water swimming with the Chappy Swimmers inspired his decision to dive into the 28th annual Buzzards Bay Swim.

Full Story ›
We will be swimming, running and riding in 2021

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is moving forward with plans to launch its full slate of signature outdoor events in 2021, promoting the protection of Buzzards Bay while adapting the activities to meet the evolving public health requirements of the pandemic.

Full Story ›
The 10 best things that happened for Buzzards Bay in 2020

This year, the Buzzards Bay Coalition made significant progress on every front—ongoing pollution cleanup, focused land protection, active restoration, and community engagement—thanks to our supporters and partners, and together we will accomplish even more in 2021.

Full Story ›

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: