Explorers Connect

Kenmare River: Self Sufficient Adventure Swim

CommunityJames Hipkiss

COMPLETED! At 18:49 on April 10th, Ripley Davenport became the first person to successfully swim the Kenmare River in 11 hours and 47 minutes.Many respected locals that have lived and worked by the Kenmare River said it couldn't be done or a shorter route should be considered as conditions are unpredictable and extremely dangerous. Ripley proved it could be done. 26.6 miles/42.8km later he arrived at Kenmare Pier under heavy skies - very emotional and exhausted.


The Kenmare River (An Ribhar in Irish Gaelic , but also called Kenmare Bay in English) is, despite its name, not a river but a large inlet on the coast of Kerry, in south-west Ireland. It is located on the Wild Atlantic Way between the Iveragh Peninsula and the Beara Peninsula.Morphologically different from other large bays south-west of Ireland, being much narrower. The bay contains an abundant number of small islands, such as Sherky and Rossmore . Main points of interest are Kenmare, which is located at the innermost point, O Carrolls Cove, Westcove, Castlecove, Parknasilla, Tahilla, Templenoe, Bunaw, Lauragh and Ardgroom.THE PLANRipley Davenport will attempt a self supported *30-mile adventure swim from O Carrolls Cove in Caherdaniel to Kenmare Pier without any form of support. It is an enormous challenge mentally, physically and emotionally battling strong tidal currents, monotony and fatigue. It is also the time of year that he will encounter the Compass and Lions Mane jellyfish.

The Kenmare River is also renowned for its seal and dolphin population. Equipped with wetsuit, thermal swim hat, swim mask and fins Ripley will tow a small raft, loaded with basic food and provisions, in sea temperatures averaging 11C.A SPOT tracker will update his position in real time; thereby ensuring the whole distance of the intended route is completed.Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis In 2011, Ripley will be fundraising in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland (MS Ireland).* - Estimated distance** - Subject to tidal and weather conditions.