Danny aims to be first garda to swim the Channel

A GARDA who won a bravery award, for saving a man from drowning, is hoping to become the first member of the force to swim the English Channel next week.

Danny Coholan, 30, from Kinsale in Co Cork, will travel to England on Wednesday.

The Anglesea Street garda, who was presented with a bravery award by the Mayor of Limerick in 2003 after a daring river rescue, is hoping to swim one of the world’s busiest shipping channels on Thursday.

He is doing the gruelling swim to raise funds for the Kinsale branch of the RNLI, of which his brother Kevin is a member, to help them build a permanent headquarters.

The distance from Shakespeare Beach in Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France is 22 miles.

But tides will force Coholan to follow an ‘S’ route of between 30 and 40 miles. He said he is aiming to hit land in between 12 to 16 hours.

“It’s going to be very tough,” he said yesterday.

“But I have more than the recommended training done over the last six months.”

Coholan has notched up 450 kilometres of sea swimming off Kinsale since his training began.

A support boat, with his wife Laura, coach Imelda Lynch, several friends, and channel swim scrutineers, will accompany him.

He will not be allowed to touch the boat and will tread water for between 30 seconds and one minute every hour to consume a carbohydrate gel.

About 120 people try to swim the channel between May and October every year. An average of 30 succeed.

Of the 6,000 swimmers who have attempted the swim over the years, only 811 have succeeded.

* To sponsor Danny, contact the RNLI Ireland on 01-895 1800.

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