Stephen Redmond Becomes First to Swim 44 km Around Fastnet Rock

Irish open water swimmer Stephen Redmond has become the first known person to swim the more-than 44 kilometers from Baltimore, Ireland, around Fastnet Rock, and back to Baltimore without a wetsuit. 

Notorious for it’s dangerous weather conditions, including strong winds and rough waves, Fastnet Rock is located 13 km from Ireland’s mainland. Currently, the water temperatures in the Cook Sea, where Fastnet Rock is located are approximately 58 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15 degrees Celsius. 

The 54 year-old Redmond started from Baltimore at 4:30 am, returning to dry-land 15 hours and 35 minutes later. According to crew-member Paschal Sheely, his first words upon finishing were, “First time it’s been done; now I understand why.”


He originally attempted the swim in August 2018, but was forced to abandon his attempt after 36 kilometers due to a swarm of dangerous jellyfish.

In 2012, he famously became the first person to successfully swim the Ocean’ Seven by swimming through 7 of the world’s most famous channel crossings: The English Channel, the Irish North Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Catalina Channel, The Cook Strait in New Zealand, the Molokai Channel, and the Tsugaru Channel.

After completing the feat, Redmond was named the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year. In 2017, he was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.


Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

Read More »