Cork sea-swimmer completes never before attempted swim for charity 

The 14km swim took four and a half hours to complete. 
Cork sea-swimmer completes never before attempted swim for charity 

Ken O'Shea with Castletownbere Coxswain Dean Hegarty, Brian O’Rourke from Bantry Bay Cruises and his wife Cliona O’Leary.

AN experienced Cork sea swimmer has completed a never-before-attempted swim while raising funds for charity.

Ken O’Shea swam 14km in four and a half hours, from The Bull Rock Lighthouse to the Beara Peninsula, in aid of the Castletownbere RNLI.

Ken, who has been swimming for the majority of his life, took an interest in open water swimming about six years ago.

Since then, he has swam from the Fastnet lighthouse to Crookhaven, a distance of 22km, which took him eight and a half hours.

Speaking to The Echo before getting in the water, Ken had said he was nervous for the challenge, but afterwards said there was great relief.

“There is always relief after these things, that feelling of ‘Thank God it’s all over!’.”

Ken heaped praise on his skipper, Brian O’Rourke from Bantry Bay Charters, who manned the boat Ken followed to reach his destination.

“Brian put in a lot of effort, tic-tacking with local fisherman and locals, figuring out the best way to get the swim done safely.”

“We needed a neap tide and a weather window, it needed to be relatively calm to get it done. It’s not the calmest of waters, it’s where the current from the Irish Sea meets the currents from the North Atlantic.”

Ken said the swim was challenging, but still achievable.

“It went well, it went to plan. It was very bouncy and it was a difficult swim, but we managed it.” 

Finishing the swim, Ken said felt very emotional.

“It was great, my wife Cliona O’Leary was on the boat for the swim, supporting me and they were very encouraging, with a small amount of abuse thrown in!”

The fundraiser has already raised over €1,500 for the Castletownbere RNLI

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