Sarasota Kayak Retailer Provides Open Water Support in Tampa Bay Frogman Swim 5K

The Giving Coast

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY JAN 16, 2020

Sarasota watersport retailer, Vanhunks Boarding Co., provided kayak support in the open water off Gandy Beach for Kevin Navas, former Navy Seal, who participated in the 2020 Tampa Bay Frogman Swim this past SundayThe grassroots effort began in 2010 in St. Petersburg as a way to raise money for a severely injured active duty Navy SEAL at the time. It has since evolved to an annual 5K point-to-point swim that is now an official Navy SEAL Foundation fundraiser event and has raised over $3 million dollars for the Foundation in the last decade.

At the Frogman event, a swimmer and kayaker complete the 5K together in honor of a Seal that has lost his/her life. This year, Navas and Cochrane completed the swim and kayak, respectively, in honor of QM2 Navy SEAL and Petty Officer James Suh, of Deerfield Beach, FL who gave his life for his country at the age of 28 in Afghanistan. A helicopter carrying Suh and the rest of an elite SEAL team heading to help a group of outnumbered soldiers near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was shot down over the mountains in June, 2005. It crashed into a ravine, where it was swarmed by enemy forces. The story of the crash was documented in the film Lone Survivor.

Vanhunks also donated its 13’ Black Bass Kayak to the silent auction which raises money for the gold star families. The gold star families are families who have lost loved ones who were part of the Navy so the proceeds of the whole event go to them. 

Photo of Kevin Navas and Tyrone Cochrane, courtesy of Vanhunks.

To learn more about the Navy SEAL Foundation, visit here.

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