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Channel Attempt swim by Waterford Firefighter

16th August 2010
Channel Attempt swim by Waterford Firefighter
A firefighter from Waterford swam from Carrick-on-Suir in Co Tipperary to Waterford city over the weekend to publicise a fundraiser where he will swim the English Channel for a cancer charity on his 40th birthday.

Alan Smith (39), from Ashley Court, hopes to achieve a lifetime ambition by completing the 21-mile swim across the channel on September 26th next.

Alan is a lifelong member of Waterford Crystal Swimming Club, the Channel swim will involve Alan being in the water for over 14 hours and will swim 30 miles navigating the strong currents and tidal stream of the English Channel.

A naval diver for nine years who currently works as a firefighter in the city, he wants to raise much-needed capital for the building of the South Eastern Cancer Foundation (SECF) Solas Centre at Williamstown in Waterford.

A window of opportunity has been opened from September 26th to October 4th but is still weather dependant. The October date marks the fifth anniversary of the death of his father Des (69), a founding member of the swimming club, who died of cancer.

In an interview with the Irish Times today, Alan said: “There’s not a family in the town that hasn’t been touched by cancer. It’s not a nice time – it’s great to know that they [the SECF] are there.”

Up to €250,000 is needed to finish the Solas Centre project – to fit out the building and open the expanded service. Construction on the centre started in May.

Waterford City Council has provided the site, close to Waterford Regional Hospital, and over €1.25 million has been raised to date.  Alan hopes to raise €5,000 as part of the fundraising drive, funded entirely through donations. You can donate to Alan’s charity on under ‘Alan Smith’s English Channel Swim’
Published in Sea Swim Team

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