Annual wild pony swim between islands lasts 18 minutes

Wild ponies swim across Assateague Channel during the 92nd Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, July 26, 2017. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki/Released)

HINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) — The 92nd annual Chincoteague pony swim has finished up.

The Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland, reported Wednesday that the crossing lasted about 18 minutes.

The wild ponies of Maryland’s Assateague Island swam across to Chincoteague Island in Virginia. A flare that lit the sky at 6:47 a.m. signaled the beginning of the swim. It ended about 7:05 a.m.

Gallery: 92nd Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim

The Coast Guard enforced a safety zone for the swim to keep onlookers safe.

The event draws thousands of tourists each year and was memorialized in Marguerite Henry’s novel “Misty of Chincoteague.”

An auction on Thursday of a portion of the herd will benefit the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. After the swim ended, crowds watched as the ponies were paraded down Main Street to carnival grounds where the auction was planned.