IMPORTANT: The Great Ohio River Swim has been cancelled for October 13

Unfortunately, water quality has not improved since our postponement in September. Levels of harmful algae have continued to increase. Working with the agencies responsible for water quality testing and analysis, we have determined that the river will not be safe for our event on October 13.

Thank you for your patience through the rescheduling and cancellation this year. We invite you to join us next year for the 2020 Bill Keating, Jr. Great Ohio River Swim. We can easily forward your registration to next year's event. If you'd prefer a refund, simply email by October 31.

Since river conditions have been problematic for two years, our team will be considering earlier scheduling options for next year's Great Ohio River Swim to improve chances of a successful event.

Join caroline keating in a “Virtual Swim”

Post your Virtual Swim picture with the #BKJGORS for a chance to win some Swim swag!


The Bill Keating, Jr.

Great Ohio River Swim

is the only open water swim on the Ohio River to cross the river and back. Start at the Serpentine Wall and swim across the Ohio River to Kentucky. Once you have reached Kentucky come back across the Ohio River to Public Landing in the heart of Cincinnati!

(Left to Right) Bill Keating Sr, Bill Keating Jr, Caroline Keating, Joseph Keating

(Left to Right) Bill Keating Sr, Bill Keating Jr, Caroline Keating, Joseph Keating

Our Story

When we started the Great Ohio River swim in 2007, Bill Keating Jr. was one of the first to sign up.  The first year of the swim Bill won the male swim, but lost the overall title to his daughter, Caroline. 

Three of his kids and his father swam across the river with Bill over the years.  Bill was a big supporter of the swim and throughout the years talked others in joining him the swim across the river.

In March of 2017, Bill lost his battle with brain cancer and now we dedicate the river swim to him.  

About the swim

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Across the Ohio River to Kentucky and Back - 900 meters. Participate in one of the following categories.

Competitive Swim

Competitive Swim

All Ages 14+


Benefiting Adventure Crew

Your participation in the Bill Keating Jr., Great Ohio River Swim benefit Adventure Crew and their mission to get more urban teens out into nature. 

Adventure Crew serves students in 23 urban high school throughout Greater Cincinnati, providing teens with no-cost activities like kayaking, biking, hiking, swimming, and more!

2019 Great Ohio River Swim SPONSORS

Presenting Sponsor


Mike Doll, Peter Cremer and Great Cincinnati Harbor and Maritime Cooperative Committee