Daniel Bessonov and coach Jordan Wood said they overshot their intended destination, Aquatic Park, by about half a mile and arrived at a lip of beach near the Golden Gate Yacht Club after 41 minutes in the water, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Monday.
Wood said recreational swimmers have more luck than prisoners did at the notorious prison because they have access to tide charts.
"The treachery of the currents is what makes it dangerous," he said. "That's why the prisoners couldn't do it. They would have had to know the tide cycles."
Bessonov said the swim was a daunting task.
"Before I got in the boat, I thought, 'I can handle this,'" he recalled. "But when I saw it was such a long distance, it was scary."
The boy said he is planning to repeat the feat next year, this time without a wet suit.
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