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DeBary Mayor Prepares For Cuba To Florida Raft Crossing

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Clint Johnson's prototype raft. Photo courtesy of Clint Johnson

Clint Johnson's prototype raft. Photo courtesy of Clint Johnson

The mayor of DeBary plans to test a homemade raft on Lake Monroe tomorrow in preparation for a trip to Florida from Cuba.

Clint Johnson said he’s been given the all clear by the US department of treasury for his visit. And the Coast Guard told him to take safety precautions.

He’ll fly to Cuba next month and spend a week or two getting to know people there. He will also build the raft he’ll ride on back to Florida, to experience what it must be like to take the trip.

“I’m doing it for the, mostly for the adventure, but also kind of to understand what the men, women and children go through to get to this state,” said Johnson.

Johnson will take water, food, a life preserver and a personal locator beacon on the voyage. He’s built a prototype out of four 55 gallon drums and other materials from a salvage yard.

He’ll test the raft on Lake Monroe on Thursday- and spend a night at sea in the coming weeks.

“My goal is going to be to go out there as authentic as possible: a few gallon jugs of water, some sustainable food, something that I can acquire down in Cuba, and keep it very basic,” said Johnson.

“And obviously some sort of life preserver,” he added.

The 30 year old mayor of DeBary said he tries to go on as many adventures as possible. Last year he cycled from Tallahassee to Key West to raise awareness about Florida’s bike trails.


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »