Brothers’ deaths prompt Steve to take on swim to Wales for RNLI

The drowning of three brothers who were fishing off Co Waterford has prompted one of the world’s top endurance swimmers to undertake a non-stop swim from Ireland to Wales to raise funds for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).

Steve Redmond, 47, the first man in history to complete the gruelling Seven Oceans Swim, is hoping to enter the record books again by becoming the first person to swim non-stop between the two countries.

If weather conditions are right on Aug 23, he hopes to complete the 80km swim from Rosslare to St David’s, Pembrokeshire in 30-35 hours.

“When you are swimming your mind goes to all sorts of places and you go into your own. When I learned of the three brothers who lost their lives fishing off Dunmore East, it brought home to me the dangers of the sea,” Steve said.

Shane, Paul and Kenny Bolger died from a combination of hypothermia and drowning when the 20ft punt capsized last June while they were lobster fishing.

“I want to do something for the people who volunteer to rescue those in trouble at sea, or in some very sad cases bring loved ones home who have lost their lives out there. I am very familiar with the work of search and rescue agencies and in particular the RNLI and I would like to raise funds and awareness through this swim,” Steve said.

The former rugby player and triathlete said he’s under no illusion how challenging the swim will be, it is further than he’s ever attempted: “This time last year I vowed never to put my body through another endurance swim. A year later and I am now looking forward to this next challenge which I have always wanted to complete.

“The fact that this swim has never been done by one person alone makes it more enticing to me and I think that if the weather and tides allow I am confident that I can make it. I am also looking forward to raising some vital funds for the RNLI who battle the elements day in day out to save lives at sea.”

He will not be allowed to touch the accompanying boat or any other person while he is swimming.

He will be independently observed by a member of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association to verify the feat.

Medical personnel will also be close at hand should Steve need to be taken from the water.

To donate to Steve’s swim visit www.mycharity.ie/event/irelandtowales2013

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