By John K. Fulweiler, Jr.

The Rhode Islander Who Refused to Drown

Published by Flood Tide Press   72 pages   paperback   $12.95

Joe Gross, a 51-year-old fisherman from Westerly, RI, was not wearing a lifejacket when he fell off his Eastern 22 Lobsterman on July 17, 2012. With one foot on the rail, he toppled into the Atlantic when a wave hit the boat and surfaced as it motored away. Demonstrating an exceptional will to survive, Joe spent the next 11 hours treading water, seven miles from the nearest shore, before being rescued by the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat 47274. “I knew pretty quick that I had a choice,” he says flatly. “I could choose to live or I could die. It was sort of weirdly apparent that I’d probably die, but I chose life and told myself that I was going to get a plan together, follow the plan and I’d live.” Based on a true story, A SWIM is artfully crafted and inspiring, and at 72 pages an ideal companion for a morning train ride.

A Rhode Island native, John K. Fulweiler, Jr. is an admiralty attorney and counselor at law who has the helm of his own maritime law firm, headquartered in Newport, RI. Writing from firsthand experience sailing in New England waters, he is a regular contributor to various maritime publications. You’ll find the author’s excellent Saltwater Law Blog at his website,, and look for his maritime law articles in upcoming issues of Windcheck.


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