Steve Redmond was looking forward to make history by swimming from Ireland across to Wales. However, he fell short after an accidental encounter with a box jellyfish and hypothermia. Everything he had worked for came to an end after his support team advised him to pull out from the swim yesterday morning at 4am.
The 47-year-old admitted his disappointment after he was unable to accomplish the 80km crossing from Wexford to St David’s in Wales. “It is a disappointment but I always knew it was going to be a tough challenge,” he stated. He departed from Rosslare at 10pm on Wednesday night to begin the long swim. The main issue his support team were concerned about were water temperatures and potential hypothermia over the course of the 35 hour swim. To make things worse, just two hours into the swim, Steve accidentally swam into a large box jellyfish and got stung. Despite that, he still pressed on, but his support team soon realised that there were increasing signs of hypothermia.
“While I know many people will be disappointed, not least Steve himself, we made the right decision to end the attempt. Our main focus and concern was always Steve’s health and when he started displaying worrying signs of hypothermia we felt that with such a long swim ahead of him it was not worth the risk,” explained John Kearney, the team manager, who strongly felt that the right decision was made. As of now, it is still not clear if Steve will make another attempt in the crossing. In fact, there is still no solo swimmer who has accomplished this. Initially, he had plan to make this his last marathon swim of his career.
“Steve has swam some of the most gruelling oceans and he knows that everything has to be right and you just don’t take chances. It would have been an amazing accomplishment to add his incredible collection of endurance swims,” said John. It was estimated that Steve would take a total of 35 hours for the swim and cover a distance of some 80km, which included him crossing some of the busiest shipping lanes in Europe.
The main reason Steve took up the challenge was to raise money for the RNLI. “This time last year I vowed never to put my body through another endurance swim. But when I learned of the three (Bolger) brothers who lost their lives fishing off Dunmore East (in June) it brought home to me the dangers of the sea…and I wanted to so something for the search and rescue agencies such as the RNLI,” he added. For the full story, you can read it here.