Dublin team to swim Channel for Temple Street

Eamonn Cope, Jeff Hopkins, Paul Byrne, Jimmy Seery, Mick Kenny, Frank Cope (replaced on the swim by Stevie Nolan), and Matt Cope on Portmarnock Strand.

Night swimming, jellyfish, powerful tides, sea sickness and hypothermia are the challenges awaiting swimmers crossing the English Channel for Temple Street hospital.

Relay swimmers from the North Dublin Winter Club Swimming Club are to set off in preparation this weekend in aid of St Michael’s C Renal Unit at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.

“The guys are flying over on Friday and they have an eight day window to do the swim, which is dictated by weather and tides. However the boat skipper is confident they will go Saturday or Sunday night,” said Robbie Cousins, a spokesman for the group.

The Renal Unit has provided critical care for team member Kevin Prendergast’s son Gavin, who was born with a rare kidney condition.

Gavin spent the majority of the first three years of life in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Kevin gave one of his kidneys to Gavan in 1997, he is now described as a thriving teenager. Gavan has gone from needing 12 hours of dialysis a day to attending the hospital as an out-patient for check-ups.

“The Channel crossings will be monitored and verified by the Channel Swimming Association under their strict rules. Night swimming, jellyfish, powerful tides, sea sickness and hypothermia are among the challenges that await them in the busiest shipping channel in the world. But they are determined to complete the challenge and make Gavin proud,” said Cousins.

Each of the eight swimmers – Jimmy Seery, Paul Byrne, Kevin Prendergast, Jeff Hopkins, Mick Kenny, Stevie Nolan, Eamonn Cope and Matthew Cope – are to swim for an hour at a time, with a five minute changeover window.

The next swimmer gets into the water and starts from a position behind the previous swimmer and then swims past them. Only at that point can the previous swimmer return to the boat. Each of the team should spend at least three hours in the water.

The attempt will be disqualified if a swimmer can’t complete their hour or touches the boat during their swim.

To avoid the full affects of tides, the distanced full distanced can be several miles more than the 35km as-the-crow-flies distance across the English Channel.

Already surpassing their original target of €10,000, the swimmers are now looking to raise €15,000 for the Temple Street, progress can be followed at swimmingthechannelfortemplestreet.com.

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