Corryong VIC 3707
There’s no denying it: by doing what you love you inspire and awaken the hearts of
others. Inspiring Australia’s youth is at the core of Team Help!’s goal. How do they achieve
that? As father and sons, they’re setting out to break a current world record and swim
Australia’s longest river, the River Murray – a total distance of 2508 Kilometers.
The Murray rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest
mountains, and then meanders across Australia's inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows to the northwest into South Australia. It turns south at Morgan for its final 315 kilometers (196 mi), reaching the ocean at Lake Alexandrina.
The water of the Murray flows through several terminal lakes that fluctuate in salinity (and were
often fresh until recent decades) including Lake Alexandrina and The Coorong before emptying
through the Murray Mouth into the southeastern portion of the Indian Ocean.
Eric Helmick and his sons Hunter Helmick and Tuck Helmick are the founders of Team Help!.
Tuck will be assisting with river logistics while Eric and Hunter solo-team the river swim. “An
endurance swim is not really my life’s dream,” says Eric. “But doing something epic that
inspires others to live big, is!”
Training has already begun for Eric and Hunter who work out twice daily including swimming the bay in Byron Bay, Australia where they currently reside. “There have been a number of shark attacks in the area over the past few years, and after a huge storm surge this week, the water is murky and rough,” says Hunter. “The swim isn’t far, just about 1.5 kilometers, but it’s cool water and a good early morning workout.”
Two people have swum the River Murray prior to the Helmicks. In 1993, Graham Middleton of
Corryong, Australia swam 2336 of the 2508 kilometers over 138 consecutive days. In 2001,
Tammy Van Wisse, a champion marathon swimmer, swam the length of the river in 106
consecutive days. The Helmicks are planning to complete the journey in 90 consecutive days,
swimming an average of 17 miles per day.