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Local Open Water Swimming Instructor Zero Iaulualo, who has over 30 years of experience in the field of aquatics, will put his 30 plus years of experience to the test when he takes on the biggest challenge of his life. He will attempt a 43-mile swim from Apia, Samoa to American Samoa. The exact date has yet to be set for the swim, but Iaulualo says it will be in approximately one year from now.


Iaulualo has been giving free open water swimming lessons here in the territory since 2004.


“I will be doing this swim for a couple of different reasons. One is to make everyone aware of our ocean resources. It is also being done to tell the people of American Samoa and around the world about what we do here in the territory and how we should take care of our oceans, because it is one of our natural resources,” said Iaulualo.


Iaulualo has logged approximately 5,000 miles throughout his 30 plus years of experience in the water, including teaching open water swimming, open water safety, open water lifesaving skills and open water lifesaving skills. He is also a certified Lifeguard, a Lifeguard Instructors Trainer, Water Safety Instructor, Standard First Aid Instructor, Swim Coach who was certified by the American Lifeguard Association, Red Cross and the YMCA. In addition, he is the head of the American Samoa Aquatics Agency (ASAA) where he teaches swim clinics and he is also the founder of the American Samoa Swimming Association (ASSA).


At this time, he is in training — getting his body in shape for the swim and will be using all of his skills to make this historic swim next year. “Another reason for the swim is to try and raise funds to build a pool here in American Samoa to establish a water safety and swimming program that will be conducted along side the one I conduct in the open water,” he explained.


Iaulualo pointed to the history of the Samoan people and the ocean as a vital means of survival, but "we have gotten away from the water, where we used to get our food and make our living from."


He explained, "There was once a need to know how to swim and learn about the ocean that surrounds us for basic survival. You don’t even see anymore paopao (canoe) lining the waters. We were once seafaring people, traveling across the ocean and knowing that this great body of water was special and knew it could it help us."


Iaulualo then stated, "In approximately one year from now, I will make the swim from Apia, Samoa to American Samoa.”


Iaualualo said that he knows there have been longer swims than this done in other parts of the world, but believes that this swim will be special, not because of the length of the swim, but because of where it will be done and the reasoning behind it.


Before the 43-mile swim next year, the ASAA will be conducting its annual ‘Swim A Mile To Save A Life’ swim in December of this year. At that time, he will be swimming a 16-mile swim along with some members from the ASAA that will be taking place from Utulei Beach Park to Aunu’u Island and back to Utulei Beach Park. This swim will also be a practice run for Iaulualo to see where he stands at that time.


He would also like for everyone to know that he is looking for sponsors and any kind of financial help that he can get.


If you would like to help finance this swim or become a sponsor, you can contact Zero at his email at, or you can speak to him personally at where he trains in the mornings — Utulei Beach Park. You can also keep track of his training on his Facebook site called, Zeros Pacific Swim.


Fundraising projects are also in the planning at this time to help finance the swim.