May 18 2013 Latest news:
Friday, July 27, 2012
Paraic Casey died close to French shore
The French authorities have released the body of tragic Channel swimmer Paraic Casey without doing a post mortem.
It’s understood French investigators concluded it was a heart attack, and allowed the remains to be returned to Ireland where a funeral is planned for Saturday.
Mr Casey died less than a mile from the French coast in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A spokesman for the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation said: “Paraic started from Shakespeare Beach at 9.13am on Saturday morning.
“There has been no post mortem. I understand that it is assumed to have been a heart attack. The French authorities have released the body.”
The 45-year-old from Cork became ill just over half a mile short arriving on the beach at Calais to complete the gruelling but popular 21-mile crossing last Sunday.
Mr Casey’s wife, Riana, was on board the Pace Arrow escort boat at the time of her husband’s sudden death.
She described her husband as an “amazing, healthy, tough, loving husband, friend, brother, uncle, son, nephew and cousin”.
She said his recent passion for swimming had brought him to great places.
He had undergone a major health check before being allowed to attempt the swim and passed with flying colours.
A statement from the federation said: “He also notified us that he had completed a six-hour training swim. He was wearing a wet-suit for the Channel crossing.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Paraic’s family at this time.”
At the time of his death, another swimmer was in the water with him to give encouragement. He had been in the water for 16 hours when he started to struggle.
He was finally pulled from the water, but despite repeated resuscitation attempts, it’s believed he was already dead.
The support boat’s pilot, Paul Foreman, said he spent 90 minutes “pumping the man’s chest” trying to revive him.
Mrs Casey’s tribute to her husband went on: “I would like to thank everyone for their love and support.”
She had been providing live updates on the swim using Twitter.
And her final message at 1am read: “He IS gonna do this, his pilot is happy with how he’s going. Picking his landing spot as I type!”
Earlier, her messages spoke of him getting exhausted and was still pushing hard.
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.”
He had been making the dangerous swim to raise cash for the Marymount Hospice in Cork and the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
Mr Casey worked at the Fota Wildlife Park, and a member of the Sandycove Swimming Club in Kinsale, Co Cork, for the last five years.
Close friend Ned Denison said: “He was a lovely bloke. He loved the water and he was in an environment where lots of other swimmers were pushing the distance and Paraic started to swim further and further and further.”
The Irish Foreign Office said: “We are providing consular support, and can say nothing more about it.”
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