Irishman dies in Channel swim


An Irishman has died while attempting to swim the English Channel.

The incident took place within a few kilometres of the French coast early this morning.

The swimmer was named as Paraic Casey from Cork by the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation .

Mr Casey was a member of the Sandycove Ireland Swim Club at the Kinsale Estuary in Co Cork.

Club secretary Ned Denison said he was an experienced and good swimmer, who was in “great shape” and had done more than two million metres of training in the past year.

“He was within 1km of the coast. We assumed he had made it and when we saw the boat turn we assumed he had made it and found out a couple of hours later during the swim,” Mr Denison said.

Mr Casey had been raising money for the St Patrick's Marymount Hospice in Co Cork and St Vincent de Paul.

In a statement his wife Riana described him as “amazing”. She said his “recent passion for swimming brought him to great places”.

“ I would like to thank everyone for their love and support. We ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time,” she added.

The governing body for English Channel swimming said the relevant authorities were informed and attended the scene but it did not have detailed information on what happened.

Mr Casey underwent and passed a standard medical examination before the swim, Kevin Murphy, honorary secretary of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation said.

He was wearing a wetsuit for the crossing and had notified the federation that he had completed the six-hour training swim, Mr Murphy said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Paraic's family at this time," he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to his family through the Embassy in Paris.

In a statement the society of St Vincent de Paul said it was "shocked and saddened" by the charity swimmer's death.