Tom Blower Commemoration, Donaghadee, Co. Down

In July 1947, Second World War veteran and long-distance swimmer Tom Blower achieved the heroic feat of swimming the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland.

In July 1947 Tom Blower, a decorated World War Two hero, became the first person to swim the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland taking 15 hours and 26 minutes to accomplish the feat.

The difficulty of the challenge is clear in that Blower’s success would not be repeated until 1970 and it is still one of the most challenging open water swims to this day.

The North Channel Swim between Donaghadee and Portpatrick [or vice versa] is one, if not the most difficult of seven long distance, cold water swims collectively known as the “Oceans Seven Challenge” created in 2008. The North Channel swim can take between nine and twenty hours to finish.

The other six “Ocean Challenges” are; the Cook Strait (New Zealand), the Molokai Channel (Hawaii), the English Channel, the Catalina Channel (U.S.A.), the Tsugaru Strait (Japan), and the Strait of Gibraltar.

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