Coast Guard enforces safety zone for 92nd Annual Pony Swim on Chincoteague Island, VA

A herd of wild ponies crosses Assateague Channel during the 92nd Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, July 26, 2017. Two boat crews from Coast Guard Station Chincoteague enforced safety zones for the event, which drew thousands of onlookers from across the country. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki/Released)

A herd of wild ponies crosses Assateague Channel during the 92nd Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, July 26, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki)

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — The Coast Guard enforced a safety zone for the 92nd Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim in Assateague Channel Wednesday.

Two 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat crews from Coast Guard Station Chincoteague worked alongside Virginia Marine Police crews to keep onlookers safe.

Station Chincoteague crew members ignited orange smoke signals at 6:47 a.m. to denote slack tide and mark the official start of the event.

Saltwater Cowboys then guided a herd of about 200 wild ponies across the channel. It took the ponies 18 minutes to swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island.

Thousands of spectators gather on the eastern side of Chincoteague Island and along the channel to witness the Pony Swim each year.

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