Tragic Channel swimmer near shore
Published 22/07/2012 | 20:52
An Irish swimmer who died crossing the English Channel had just one kilometre to go when tragedy struck.
Tributes have been paid to Paraic Casey, a 45-year-old from Co Cork whose passion was swimming.
His widow Riana was on the Pace Arrow support boat next to her husband when he fell ill in the water in the early hours of Sunday morning.
"Paraic was an amazing, healthy, tough, loving husband, friend, brother, uncle, son, nephew and cousin whose recent passion for swimming brought him to great places," she said.
"I would like to thank everyone for their love and support. We ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time."
Mr Casey began his swim from Dover shortly after 9am on Saturday. He was just 1km from the coast of France when he took ill at around 1.30am on Sunday.
Updates on his Twitter page followed his every stroke and said he was exhausted before they suddenly stopped.
Michael Oram, chairman of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation, said: "Attempts were made by crew to resuscitate him before a French rescue helicopter arrived with medics who tried further resuscitation."
A speedboat of rescuers from Calais also rushed to the scene, but despite several attempts medics were unable to revive him.
A post-mortem examination is due to be held to establish the cause of death.