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Day of family fun promised as 27th Helvick Swim takes place for RNLI

Organisers of the RNLI's Helvick Swim are expecting record numbers to take to Dungarvan Bay later today.

The 27th annual fundraising event gets underway at 12 noon at the Helvick Head lifeboat station.

It was due to take place a couple of weeks ago but was postponed due to high winds.

Kevin O'Morchoe is chairman of the RNLI Helvick Head Fundraising Committee.

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"The swim will start in Ballinacourty," he told WLR's Saturday Café with Dymphna Nugent yesterday, "across the bay from Helvick and that starts at 12 o'clock.

"Likewise, at the other side on Helvick Harbour and on the Pier there, our festivities kick-off at 12 o'clock as well.

"We have a barbecue, which is the main attraction there, and other refreshments.

"We have a dog show, we have live music, we have a couple of competitions - the King and Queen of Helvick, which is throwing a wellie into a hoop in the water and seeing how well you can do!

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"And we have a raffle."

Community effort

Up to 75 swimmers in total are expected to take part in the event, which involves a two-kilometre and a four-kilometre swim across the harbour.

Kevin says the event is always a big community effort:

"The swimmers are the main characters in this event and their challenge is to swim either the four kilometres or the two kilometres across the harbour.

"The four kilometres are shore-to-shore and the two kilometres take them out halfway in boats and drop them in and then they swim the rest of the way.

"The second part of it then is the entertainment on the pier.

"We have a committee of about 13, along with an army of other volunteers who come out of the woodwork for this particular day - mainly because it's a good bit of fun for everybody!"

All the funds raised today will go towards the purchase and upkeep of life-saving equipment.

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