Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Thursday, 2 September 2010 16:52 UK
Strong currents end Bristol Channel swim attempt
Gethin Jones swimming the Bristol Channel
Strong currents forced Gethin to give up his attempt

A swimmer has been thwarted in his attempt at a two-way crossing of the Bristol Channel to raise funds for a four year old boy with cerebral palsy.

Gethin Jones from Swansea was swimming from Penarth to Weston-super-Mare and back - a distance of 17 nautical miles (32 km).

He had to stop about a mile from the Somerset shore due to strong currents.

Gethin was aiming to raise money to fund medical treatment in the USA for Cieran Jones from Port Talbot.

The boy's family are trying to raise £60,000 to pay for his treatment.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales shortly after Gethin set off on Thursday morning, his father John Jones said he first became interested in swimming after taking part in joining a triathalon team and taking part in Iron Man contests.

In 2008 he was awarded the Most Meritorious swim of the year for swimming the English Channel by the Channel Swimming Association.

Last year Gethin successfully swam from Ilfracombe, north Devon, to Caswell Bay, Swansea.

Gethin was battling difficult conditions in the Bristol Channel, which has the second highest tidal range in the world - varying by up to 50 feet (15.15 metres).

He hopes to raise money to help fund Cieran Jones' treatment at the St Louis Children's Hospital in the USA, through the national charity Caudwell Children.

Cieran suffers from cerebral palsy which affects his mobility and means he has to use a wheelchair or a walking frame.

His family are trying to raise money to fund a treatment called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy which is only available in the USA.

The treatment releases muscle tension in cerebral palsy sufferers and has allowed some patients to walk independently for the first time.

"He stops every hour for food and water, to take on some carbohydrates and for some mouthwash as well as the water doesn't taste particularly nice here!"
Ceri Davies, manning the support boat

Ceri Davies and Amy Smith were accompanying Gethin on his support boat.

Student midwife Amy has been training with Gethin and attempted to swim the channel yesterday.

She had to give up after over 6 hours in the water as the tides and the currents had blown her off course.




SEE ALSO
Boy, 16, swims Bristol Channel
27 Aug 07 |  Wales
Teenager completes channel swim
27 Aug 07 |  Bristol

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