DONEGAL man Henry O’Donnell has cancelled his Finswim expedition due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
O’Donnell was aiming to become the first person to fin swim around Ireland and started his challenge from Carrickfinn on September 17.
In February, the venture was suspended after he had covered over 700km and he had hoped to resume.
However, he says that Covid-19 levels remain too high for the challenge to operate safely.
“Compliance with Government covid restrictions and safety of the expedition crew was always the number one priority,” he said.
“The unforeseen covid situation and recent pandemic developments caused serious disruption and additional logistics challenges to the extent that cancellation was necessary.
“I am delighted that we succeeded in reaching the halfway point on 28 January 2021, off the south coast of Ireland with the extraordinary support and outstanding effort from my volunteer expedition vessel crew and land operations team.”
Finswimming consists of four techniques, involving swimming with the use of fins either on the water’s surface using a snorkel, or underwater with monofins.
More than €43,000 was raised by the expedition through online donations from the public. Water Safety Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society will benefit equally from funds raised and he thanked both bodies for their support.
A spokesperson for Water Safety Ireland congratulated the Finswim team for their progress during very challenging conditions.
The spokesperson said: “We wish to thank Henry and his brilliant team for all their work. We are very grateful to Henry, his team and the generous members of the public who have made donations to allow us promote water safety and reduce drownings on our island nation.”
A spokesperson from the Irish Cancer Society said: “The Irish Cancer Society are extremely grateful to Henry and his Finswim Crew for all they achieved during their expedition under very restricted conditions.
“Although disappointing for all involved, cancelling Finswim 2020 is the right and only decision possible at this point. We wish Henry all the very best for the future and want to say thanks to all who supported the expedition.”Tags: