Ex-Army Captain Adam Diver is taking on an epic challenge this July: to be the first person to swim across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man. The swim aims to raise awareness of mental health whilst also helping with vital research in marine plastic pollution.
Nicknamed ‘The Big Swim’, Adam and his team will kick off at St Bees and cover a whopping 32 miles to get to Port Mooar. The idea grew from a simple ‘what if’ to a real plan with the help of the team and technology at Fleetwood Nautical Campus where Adam works.
The neap tide of 22nd July was confirmed after plotting the route and analysing the chart, and plans were set in place following safety discussions with the RNLI, the IoM Government and the Coastguard.
The gruelling swim has been fully simulated to include tidal flow direction and speed to ensure the best chances of success, however the team is still at the mercy of the weather conditions on the day. Adam will be supported on the swim by a small team of maritime crew, medics and scientists as well as two fellow ex-soldiers in support kayaks.
Unlike swimming the channel, there are no rules and regulations to adhere to. “It’s unknown territory,” said Adam. “It’s never been done before so we’re making up our own rules.”
Already making the most of the wave pool technology at the College to train, Adam will be following a strict training routine in the run-up to the challenge which will involve a mix of indoor and outdoor swimming.
He aims to raise awareness of mental health though the challenge, partnering with charity Healthier Heroes which provides help and shelter for ex-soldiers with mental and physical health problems.
The accompanying marine research team will be bringing a probe and other specialised equipment to trawl the sea for plastics and gather data for climate change.