Steve spent an incredible 13 hours in the treacherous 17-mile Tsuguru Strait over Sunday night and Monday morning.
He spent eight of those hours battling strong tides before his support team made the difficult decision yesterday morning to abandon the attempt.
Bad weather forced him to abandon his first attempt on Friday night.
Steve’s wife Anne said he was bitterly disappointed after such a huge effort.
“You can prepare for a lot of things, but you have no control over tides,” she said.
After his first attempt was abandoned early on Saturday, Steve set off again at 9pm Irish time on Sunday.
Five hours in, his support team reported that he was making good progress. However, Anne said the tides began to make conditions difficult soon afterwards.
“They said they’d never seen a current and a tide like it. It was like a whirlpool, and it was pushing him backwards,” she said.
“But he battled on for 13 hours. It was a ferocious effort, on his behalf and his support team.
“I spoke to him yesterday and he’s shattered, battered and bruised. He feels like he’s left everybody down.
“But he was getting exhausted and they made the right decision.”
The marathon swimmer from Baltimore in West Cork is bidding to become the first person to complete the gruelling Oceans Seven challenge — the marine equivalent of the Seven Summits mountain climbing challenge.
The Japanese stretch of water is the last channel on Steve’s list.
He has already swum the Irish Channel between Ireland and Scotland; the Cook Strait, between the North and South Islands of New Zealand; the Moloka’i Channel, between O’ahu and Moloka’i Islands in Hawaii; the channel between England and France, the Catalina Channel near Los Angeles, California; and the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.
The Tsugaru Channel between Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan is the last on the list.