Jeremy Parris, 20, of Conway will be among a small group helping Ripley Davenport, of Ireland, to attempt to be the first person to circumnavigate the country of Ireland.
Parris said the swim will be about 850 miles and take about 90 days. Parris will be on the “support yacht” following Davenport along the way and giving him a place to rest and eat at sea.
Davenport will be performing this swim for a multiple sclerosis charity, a disease that he has.
Parris said he met Davenport while he was in Ireland in the summer of 2013 with Health Exchange, a program which provides people with food and shelter. He said he and Davenport spent time together while he was there and have kept in touch.
“I worked with him a little bit at the place I was staying ... an equestrian center,” he said. “I just hung out with him a lot and got to know his family and stuff. We kind of kept in touch a little bit here and there. He introduced me to this whole idea and asked if I would be interested. Immediately I knew this was something I had to do.”
He said the idea stemmed off an activity they did in Ireland called “coastering.” This is where the group would swim along the coast of Ireland, jump off cliffs and continue swimming. He said, along with this, Davenport’s naval past is also part of his experience and influence.
“He was in the Navy for awhile in his younger years,” he said. “After the first few sessions of doing that [coastering], he was just like ‘that was such an adrenaline rush.’”
Parris said Davenport makes a profession of going on adventures and that, after he had his stint in the Navy, Davenport crossed the Gobi Desert by himself. He also said Davenport’s inspiration came from another record-setting person.
“There’s a guy that inspired it all, and his name is Sean Conway,” Parris said. “He did ‘Swim Britain’ where he swam from the bottom of the UK to the top of the UK, so that was a world first as well. He [Davenport] just took that and applied it to Ireland.”
Parris said he will be helping Davenport train this summer, a month before the actual swim. The swim will begin in July.
Parris will be writing about the trek along the way, as well as updating an interactive map that will allow viewers to see where Davenport is at all times.
Parris’ blog about the trip can be found at www.jeremystormsky.wordpress.com.