Tacoma distance swimmer Bert Thomas is embraced by his mother, Nadine (Mrs. Fred) Dimond at the end of his swim from West Seattle to Old Tacoma in May, 1956. Thomas swam the 18.5 miles in 15 hours, 23 minutes. He was determined to complete the swim on his third try as a belated Mother's Day gift for his mom. He entered the frigid 46 degree water at 11:35 a.m. on May 14, 1956 and touched bottom for the first time at 3:05 a.m. on May 15th several hundred yards east of the Old Tacoma Dock. Money was raised as he swam to finance future swims. He next planned to swim the English Channel in the fall.