Fla. firefighter-EMT paddles from Bahamas to Florida in charity event

Holly Heidenreich and her teammate, Megan Scully, were the only prone board paddling team in the 2022 Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis challenge


By Leila Merrill

DESTIN, Fla. — Destin Firefighter and EMT Holly Heidenreich, 25, recently paddled 80 miles from Bimini, Bahamas to Florida during the 2022 Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis challenge, WKRG reported.

Heidenreich and her teammate, Megan Scully, made up the only prone board paddling team and completed the 80 miles in 15 hours, 38 minutes and 41 seconds. Unlike paddleboarding or kayaking, prone paddlers are on their stomachs or knees and use only their arms to propel themselves.

“I went on my knees, and it’s definitely faster, but it will wear yourself out a bit more,” said Heidenreich. “I laid on my stomach for most of it just hoping for the best and kept going.”

Boats moved near the paddlers for safety, and the teammates took turns paddling and resting on a boat. 

Event staffers said team has raised $1,518 for Piper’s Angels Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for the cystic fibrosis community. The event total was reported as $443,932 but donations are being accepted until July 31.

“I grew up on boats a lot. Worked at the beach for a little bit,” said Heidenreich.” I’m all about the ocean and conserving it and helping it. Also participating in events like this.”

“I would do it again,” said Heidenreich. “I’ve already talked about doing it next year again and if not, the following year’s show.”

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