On Sept. 9, East Hills resident Len Pugatch was one of 150 swimmers to participate in the inaugural Brooklyn Bridge Swim across the East River from the South Street Seaport under the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The event was sponsored by the Manhattan Island Foundation, which also sponsors the annual around Manhattan Marathon swim.
Pugatch swims regularly at the Sid Jacobson JCC in Roslyn and the new Village of East Hills pool. In recent years, he has "done laps" in a 90-degree outdoor thermal pool in Reykjavik, Iceland, when it was 25 degrees outside, off the beaches of Cannes and St. Tropez, in the public salt water Olympic-size pool in the center of Monte Carlo and through a mussel farm in the waters of Portovenere, Italy. For the past eight years, he has also participated in the annual Red Cross one-mile swim across Oyster Bay. Said Pugatch, "The river was cleaner than I expected, but the current was swift and strong. It was an adventure and the views were awesome."