AN ATTEMPT by well known open water swimmer Steve Redmond to become the first person to swim from Wexford to Wales ended prematurely when he began to show signs of hypothermia and was stung by a box jellyfish.
Steve, aged 48, who left from Carnsore Point late on Wednesday night, heading for St. David's in Wales, was only a few hours into his 80 km swim when the attempt was called off early Thursday on the advice of his support team, which included medical personnel.
He had anticipated it would take him in the region of 35 hours to complete the marathon swim.
Steve, from Ballydehob, in Cork, has already made history for being the first man ever to complete the gruelling Seven Oceans Swim and was looking to take on the challenge of being the first person to swim from Ireland to Wales. He was also raising funds for the RNLI.
'Jellyfish are always going to be a problem in the Irish Sea and after he was stung, it was that and the onset of hypothermia that led him to pull out,' said a member of Steve's support team.
Speaking on the decision to end the swim, John Kearney from the support team said, '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. Steve has swam some of the most gruelling oceans and he knows that everything has to be right and you don't take chances.
'I want to thank everyone for their support for Steve and this swim. It would have been an amazing accomplishment to add his incredible collection of endurance swims.'