Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Pop star launches Irish Sea swim

Ronan Keating and Jenny Frost at Holyhead sailing club ahead of The Swim, a fundraising swim across the Irish Sea in aid of Cancer Research UK

Pop star Ronan Keating has taken the plunge into the chilly Irish Sea, leading a daring swim from the UK to Ireland.

The charity relay for Cancer Research UK will see five famous names swim 56 nautical miles (65 land miles) from Holyhead, in Anglesey, North Wales, to Dublin.

Ronan is joined on the challenge by TV presenter Jenny Frost, Strictly star Pamela Stephenson, gadget guru Jason Bradbury and Olympic medallist swimmer Steve Parry.

They will tackle treacherous currents, ferries and even sharks in a bid to raise £1 million.

The team, supported by five 'super swimmers' had been due to set off at around lunchtime on Wednesday, but favourable weather led organisers to bring the event forward by 15 hours.

As darkness fell, hundreds of people clapped and cheered at the little harbour at Holyhead Sailing Club as Ronan, wearing a black wet suit, pink swimming cap and flippers, made the sign of the cross and took his first steps into the water.

The pop star had earlier braved a smile and a wave to fans before he hugged wife, Yvonne, goodbye on the slipway and got some last minute advice from swim organiser Simon Murie.

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