Irish swimmer Páraic Casey, from the Sandymount Swimming Club in Cork died in the early hours of Sunday morning whilst attempting to cross the Channel.
The 45 years old, from Passage West had set off at 9.13 on Saturday and was less than 1 km from the French coast when he was taken ill at about 1.30 am on Sunday morning.
Mr Casey, a very experienced long distance swimmer and a well-known and much respected member of the Sandymount club, undertook the swim to raise funds for St Vincent de Paul and Marymount Hospice charities.
Despite the best efforts of the local medics and rescue services, Páraic did not respond to resuscitation attempts
Kevin Muphy , Hon. Sec. of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation (CS+PF) commented :
“We can confirm, that there has been a tragic incident off the French coast involving the death of a swimmer. The swimmer concerned was Paraic Casey from Cork in Ireland.
The relevant authorities were informed and attended the scene. At the moment I do not have detailed information on what happened, so I am not in a position to comment further. I can confirm that Paraic underwent a standard medical examination prior to the swim and was passed fit. He also notified me than he had completed a six-hour training swim. He was wearing a wetsuit for the Channel crossing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Paraic’s family at this time”.
Later Michael Oram, Chairman of the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation, issued the following official statement.
“It is with great sadness the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation confirms the death an Irish swimmer whist attempting a solo crossing of the English Channel early this morning.
Páraic Casey from Cork, Ireland began his swim at 9.13am on Saturday morning and was just 1km from the coast of France at around 1:30 this morning when he took ill.
Attempts were made by crew to resuscitate him before a French rescue helicopter arrived with medics who tried further resuscitation “.
The late Mr Casey’s wife Riana has issued the following statement:
“Paraic was an amazing, healthy, tough, loving husband, friend, brother, uncle, son, nephew and cousin whose 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”