Swimming World Presents “Aquatic History: Elite Swimmer Teddy Cann Saves the USS May”

Swimming World July 2019 - Teddy Cann Saves the USS May

Teddy Cann Saves the USS May

By Bruce Wigo

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany.
Before the month was out, Tedford “Teddy” Cann and his older brother, Harold, made headlines in New York when they answered the first call by Uncle Sam for volunteers and enlisted in the United States Navy Reserves.

This was big news because almost every schoolboy and sporting enthusiast in New York knew of the famous Cann family.

Teddy also swam for the New York Athletic Club for Coach Matt Mann, who later became famous at the University of Michigan. In April of 1916, Teddy had shocked the world when he upset the great Hawaiian, Duke Pao Kahanamoku, in the furlong to win the national title in Honolulu Harbor. Shortly before enlisting, Teddy beat Duke again in New York and also won the 100 and 200 yard freestyle national championship titles in Chicago.

EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM
On Nov. 5, 1917, Teddy was serving as a seaman onboard the USS May, a submarine “chaser” patrolling the waters between Bermuda and the Azores on the lookout for German submarines.

The ship had been rolling heavily in the waves almost since leaving port before the cause was discovered around 7:30 a.m. A forward hold was found to be flooded to a depth of about four feet, making a total depth of water from the bilge compartment at the keel to eight feet. The bilge pumps had failed, so hand bilges were started, hand bucket lines were formed and other attempts to control the water level were tried to keep the boat from sinking.

By their superhuman efforts, the ship’s company was fighting the sea to a draw, preventing a serious increase in the water level. However, the water kept pouring in through an unknown leak.

At this point, Teddy Cann volunteered to dive into the bilge compartment from another hold to locate the cause of the leak.

Through the hatchway he entered, seamen gave him what feeble light they could from oil lanterns. They even tried to encourage him every time he came up for air. But the big job was for Cann alone.

Down in the forward part of the bilge, Cann kept diving and searching until he finally found the leak. Water was entering through a pipe connected to the sea. This connection was for a sea valve, and the cover was broken. Cann realized that he would have to plug the hold to stop the intake of the seawater that was coming in like a gushing fountain…

To read more about how Teddy Cann’s athletic skills saved the USS May,
check out the full July 2019 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

SW July 2019 Cover Kyle Chalmers

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FEATURES

019 CRUNCH TIME!
by Michael Randazzo
With the Olympic Games a little more than a year away, the U.S. men’s water polo team—whose head coach predicted a gold medal in Tokyo—has yet to qualify. They’ll get a chance to punch their ticket if they can finish first at the Pan American Games next month in Lima, Peru.

023 THE VALUE OF AQUATIC SPORTS: TEDDY CANN SAVES THE MAY
by Bruce Wigo
While serving as a seaman onboard the USS May in November 1917, Tedford “Teddy” Cann, an elite swimmer, water polo player and all-around athlete, risked his life to find—and fix—a leak in a flooded compartment, thereby saving the ship.

026 DESTINED FOR GREATNESS
by David Rieder
Perhaps it was always meant to be that Kyle Chalmers would be a champion swimmer. Despite his childhood dreams of playing professional football, he eventually decided to pursue swimming seriously in 2015. The next year, at 18, he won Olympic gold in the men’s 100 free. After undergoing heart surgery in 2017, he rebounded in 2018 to win a combined nine medals (five gold) at the Pan Pacs and Commonwealth Games. Now, all eyes are on Chalmers to win gold at this month’s World Championships.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: RATKO RUDIC
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: PREVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL SWIM COACHES ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME SUMMIT
by Rod Havriluk
The ISCA Hall of Fame Summit, Aug. 27-30, in Clearwater Beach, Fla., will once again include a wide variety of topics, international presenters and participants from many countries. The presentations will emphasize the WHY (the scientific basis) as well as the HOW (the strategies for applying the science) to improve swimmer performance.

016 PLAN B: COLLEGE CLUB TEAM OPTION (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
College Club Swimming has been offering more and more athletes the opportunity to continue participating in the sport they love. In Part 2 of this two-part series, Swimming World explores more personal perspectives from swimmers pursuing their aquatic passion while enjoying a college experience unencumbered by the demands of a varsity athlete.

020 SPECIAL SETS: WORKOUTS OF A WORLD CHAMPION
by Michael J. Stott
In 2017, Coach Gregg Troy put together a plan to maximize Caeleb Dressel’s opportunities at the World Championships in Budapest. Following are eight workouts done by Dressel in his preparation for what resulted in a record seven gold medals.

043 Q&A WITH COACH ANTHONY NESTY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ROBERT FINKE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: EXERCISE EQUIPMENT SERIES—MULTI-EQUIPMENT PROGRAM FOR STRENGTH AND POWER
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: RAQUEL MALDONADO
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

022 OFFICIAL WORD

025 DID YOU KNOW? MARK SPITZ & PIETER VAN DEN HOOGENBAND

030 2019 AQUATIC DIRECTORY

042 DADS ON DECK

047 GUTTER TALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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