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ORANGE, CA -- Cory Puentes of Interfresh Inc.'s San Bruno, CA, office and Craig Jacob of Dole Fresh Fruit Co. in Westlake Village, CA, did their part Sunday, Sept. 12, to support the 33 trapped miners in Chile.

Joining 31 other open-water swimmers, Messrs. Puentes and Jacob braved the 58-degree water and three-knot currents in a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park in the San Francisco Bay. The swim was organized by Water World Swim, the premier, open-water swimming organization in San Francisco.

Each of the 33 swimmers sponsored a trapped miner and swam in his honor. All entry fees and proceeds were donated to the families of the trapped miners in an effort to assist with their rescue. San Francisco and Chilean media were on hand to record the event, and at the end of the swim, each participant was able to say a few words of encouragement to his or her sponsored miner.

This was the second Alcatraz crossing for Mr. Puentes, who completed his first in August 2009, and the first for Mr. Jacob, both of whom competed without wetsuits.

"The water temperature was not much of a factor today", Mr. Jacob said in a Sept. 14 press release. "What really made the swim tough today were the currents and the swells."

Although the swim offered both a physical and mental challenge, both men agreed that it was well worth the training and that it was something they would definitely do again.

"About halfway through, your body tells you to stop, but you just have to push on, knowing that with each stroke, you are closer to your destination," Mr. Puentes said in the release. "It’s a tremendous feeling when you are able to stand up on the sandy bottom at the finish, and we are pleased to assist with the rescue of the miners, who could be trapped for four months or longer."

Mr. Jacob added in the release, "This was a really rewarding experience for me. First and foremost, it was a great opportunity to show my support for the trapped miners and their families, and secondly, it was great to show my support for the people of, and the country of, Chile. Dole has 20 company- owned farms and over 3,000 employees there, so Chile is very important to us."

Now in its 24th year of providing fresh fruits and vegetables to retailers, wholesalers and foodservice distributors, Interfresh said that it continually strives to provide top-quality products year round. Headquartered in Orange, CA, Interfresh has expanded its reach and further developed its product line and services by opening new offices in strategic locations throughout California.

The experienced employees of Interfresh are driven by their passion to provide unparalleled services for a consistent, high-quality supply of fresh fruits and vegetables season to season, according to the release. In addition to citrus, melons, pineapples and avocados, Interfresh handles an extensive line of fresh products such as corn, asparagus, yams, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, grapes and stone fruit.