A GROUP of swimmers taking on the challenge of crossing Galway Bay will hold a blessing to remember lost swimmers, including Paraic Casey.
A total of 41 swimmers will take part in the Galway Bay Swim today, which will see them cover 13km from Aughinish, Co Clare, to Blackrock Tower in Salthill, Galway.
The swimmers will all wear black armbands as a mark of respect to Mr Casey, who died while attempting to swim across the English Channel. They will also remember Owen Hughes who died earlier this year.
Mr Hughes had completed the Galway Bay crossing for the first time last year. Before the swimmers take to the water a local priest will say a blessing and remember the two deceased men.
This year sees the highest number of participants taking part in the 13km swim, a jump of 10 from last year.
Organiser Kevin Thornton, who set up the swim in 2006, said he had been overwhelmed by the response.
"The most famous of these swims in the world, the lake Zurich swim, has only 41 swimmers, so I think we're doing fantastic," he said.
This year the group hopes to raise €50,000 for Cancer Care West.