Athlone ladies, Serena Friel and Karen Reynolds, are undertaking an ultra swim in support of the construction of a new RNLI Life Boat Station at Coosan Point to service Lough Ree and the Shannon.
Serena and Karen have been training for over a year to complete the 32km relay swim from Lanesboro bridge to Athlone town bridge, later this month, with the date to be determined by weather conditions to suit the swim. This is the first time it is being attempted in this format.
While the straight line distance between the 2 bridges is 32km, the swim will be much longer as a result of current, winds and navigation and is expected to take up to take between 12 and 14 hours to complete. There’s been huge interest in “Wild Swimming” since the outbreak of Covid, but this swim takes it to another level.
The Swim will be under Cross Challenge Swim Rules which mean the swimmers must not be assisted by any kind of artificial aid – and are only permitted to use goggles, one cap, a nose clip, ear plugs and one costume, that must be sleeveless and legless.
To sponsor Karen and Serena’s efforts and donate to the Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat station appeal please click on the link to the gofund me page below:
Pictured above are: Karen Reynolds and Serena Friel (In the Boat), with some of their support team Damien Delaney, Jude Kilmartin, Carmel Hughes, David Warby, Vincent Rafter and Paul Cantwell.
Lough Ree RNLI
Lough Ree is home to one of Ireland’s busiest lifeboat crews, currently operating from temporary facilities.
Lough Ree volunteer crews have been rescuing people from the lake’s 28km stretch of inland water since 2012, launching more than 370 times and helping over 1,060 people. They are currently operating from temporary shipping containers but are planning to move to a new purpose built station with modern facilities for casualties, crew and craft.
The RNLI is a charity funded by donations and the local RNLI crew are trying to raise €100,000 towards the overall cost of this new building.
The new lifeboat station will enhance search and rescue on Lough Ree and the Shannon and will boost water safety and education activities in the local community.
We’ll be providing updates on the swim on social media over the next two weeks using the hashtag