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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 9 August, 2020

Emergency services forced to abandon 65-mile kayak for Cystic Fibrosis

Three men have raised over €11,ooo to go towards the construction of a dedicated Cystic Fibrosis Unit at Waterford Regional Hopsital but their planned journey was affected by the weather this morning.

Alan Magner in training for the 20 hour charity kayak
Alan Magner in training for the 20 hour charity kayak

Updated 10.10am

MEMBERS OF THE Waterford Gardaí and Waterford Marine Search and Rescue have been forced to abandon a planned 65-mile kayak from Wexford to Wales in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland.

The three men left Rosslare at 4am this morning but encountered six-foot swells of waves and a strong northerly wind which prevented them from advancing any further.

“We kept going as long as we could in the hope that the sea would calm down as forecasted but unfortunately we had to abort after 10-15km for safety reasons. We will hopefully try again with better conditions!!!” the group said in a Facebook post this morning.

They had been expected to arrive at David Head’s in Wales at around 9pm tonight.

Alan Magner, a Waterford Garda, organised the event to raise funds for a Cystic Fibrosis Isolation Unit at Waterford Regional Hospital.

Speaking to yesterday, Magner said the cause is close to his heart as his brother in law has Cystic Fibrosis and he has seen the difficulties people with the disease have to go through.

“He and my sister have been trying for a baby and they’ve had to go for IVF treatments, it’s very tough, there’s a world of pain for people who have CF,” he said.

“It’s meant an awful lot to me to do this, I’ve always wanted to do something for the charity and I’m just glad I have the opportunity now. I’m kind of nervous about it now but more excited than anything else.”

Magner said he and the two other fundraisers, who are members of the Waterford Marine Search and Rescue, have been training since October, getting out on the water after work two or three times a week.

The three men have trained up as far as 42 miles and Magner said yesterday that the full 65 miles is going to be a challenge.

When the trio are eventually able to set off they expect the journey to take up to 20 hours with just a few minutes of rest every hour and some energy bars to keep them going.

“Once the boat touches the sand I’ll just lie there and enjoy the fact that it’s finally done,” he said. “One of the first things I’ll do is try to straighten my back out, the I’ll be looking forward to getting some nice decent food.”

So far the men have raised more than €11,000 for the dedicated Cystic Fibrosis Isolation Unit at Waterford Regional Hospital which will cost up to €200,000 to complete.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

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