Man who swam Cork harbour lucky not to be ‘a statistic’

A man who embarked on a risky Cork Harbour swimming stunt in his underwear for a bet ignored requests to stop, wasted emergency service time, and delayed the passage of two ships.

It is believed the man was challenged by friends to complete the 3km swim across the busy shipping channel between Cobh and Spike Island and back.

The RNLI said he was lucky not to have become another drowning statistic.

The alarm was raised at 5.30pm on Monday. The crew of a Cork Harbour pilot boat asked him to get out of the water amid concerns the Irish Naval Service vessel, the LÉ Orla, which was being flanked by a tug, were bearing down on him. He insisted on continuing, saying he was doing it for a €200 bet.

The Crosshaven lifeboat crew was tasked. The LÉ Orla and the Crosshaven Coast Guard unit also deployed ribs to the scene.

They all stood by until the man exited the water at Cobh and rejoined his friends. Gardaí were alerted but they had not arrived by the time the man returned to the quayside around 6.40pm.

The water temperature was just 14C. Swimming in cold water, especially after the consumption of alcohol, increases the risk of cardiac arrest.

Lifeboat launching authority Hugh Mockler said open-water swimmers should have a safety boat with them.

“Going out alone and across shipping channels is very dangerous and the currents off Cobh are very strong,” he said. “This man was extremely lucky he did not become a statistic.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Irish agriculture urged to diversify

Anger at ‘back door’ to water charges

Hospital maternity IT system rollout on hold

Theresa May’s speech did not go far enough, says Taoiseach

Breaking Stories

Gardaí appeal for help in tracing missing 62-year-old Kildare man

Monaghan road accident claims life of woman and puts two in hospital

Three tickets have won six-figure sums in tonight's Lotto

Red C poll sees two main parties make gains


House cleaning for dummies

Getting clean and lean: James Duigan on the simplicity of changing your food habits

Ask Audrey: You’re 9 on the Crazy Scale, where 1 is sane and 10 is flying with Ryanair

Get out and enjoy: What's on offer for Culture Night?

More From The Irish Examiner