Tom Hetzel, 75, a former Rockaway resident, died October 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Hetzel was born in Rockaway Beach. He served in the U.S. Navy and worked for the NYPD for 13 years until a shoulder injury forced him to retire. He was known for his long-distance swimming accomplishments and for completing more solo English Channel crossings than any other American swimmer, completing it eight times. From 1968 to 1972, he was internationally ranked in marathon swimming. In 1980, he was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the United Nations.
Funeral arrangements remained private.