Dublin man Fergal Somerville became only the 14th person in history to complete the North Channel swim from Donaghadee in Ireland to Portpatrick when he made the crossing on Sunday.
In the early hours of Sunday morning Fergal and his support team waited at Donaghadee for the confirmation that the swim would go ahead. The pilot of the escort boat, Quinten Nelson gave the OK for the swim to go ahead as the weather conditions were favourable.
At 5.10am Fergal entered the water and started to swim towards Portpatrick. Fergal made very good progress although the water was between 9C and 10.5C. Land was made between Portpatrick and Killantringen lighthouse and Fergal’s time was 12 hours, 21 minutes.
Fergal achieved several records, which included the earliest swim of the North Channel and first of 2013, being the oldest person to swim the North Channel, making the fourth fastest crossing, and doing it in the lowest temperature of water.
The North Channel was first swum on July 27, 1947, by England’s Tom Blower.
The role of honour is: July 27, 1947, Tom Blower, England; September 11, 1970, Kevin Murphy, England; August 29, 1971, Kevin Murphy, England; August 11, 1973, Ted Keenan, Ireland; August 22, 1988, Alison Streeter, England; August 23, 1988, Margaret Kidd, Scotland; August 25, 1989, Alison Streeter, England; September 7, 1989, Kevin Murphy, England; August 18, 1997, Alison Streeter, England; July 7, 1999, Paul Lewis, England; July 21, 2000, Steve Price, England; July 31, 2004, Colm O`Neill, Dublin; September 12, 2008, Colleen Blair, Scotland; August 31, 2010, Steve Redmond, Ireland; September 1, 2010, Anne Marie Ward, Ireland; July 27, 2011, Craig Lenning, USA; August 2, 2011, Howard Keech, England; June 16, 2013, Fergal Somerville, Ireland.
After completing his swim Fergal and his support team headed to Portpatrick where they enjoyed hospitality in the Harbour House Hotel.