Sink or swim challenge for daring volunteer

SEA QUEST: Wildlife volunteer Dave Astins will attempt to swim 2.5 miles for charity.

SEA QUEST: Wildlife volunteer Dave Astins will attempt to swim 2.5 miles for charity.

First published in News by

A DARING volunteer will be dodging dolphins, jelly fish and basking shark when he battles the current of the Irish Sea to raise money for charity.

On Friday, August 22, Dave Astins, a daring volunteer and supporter of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) will be attempt a treacherous sponsored swim from Marloes Sands, across Marloes Bay to the beautiful Skokholm Island.

Setting off at around 6.30am, Dave will have to swim approximately 2.5 miles in a straight line in order to complete the challenge.

The sea around Skokholm has strong tidal streams and races and is often subject to strong ocean swell, so Dave will have his work cut out trying to keep up a good pace.

“WTSWW has carried out research and has yet to find someone who has successfully completed and recorded the swim from the mainland to the island, so this is quite possibly a first,” said Gina Gavigan, spokesman for the WTSWW.

Dave who works in Education and Children Services for Carmarthenshire County Council said: “The distance isn't a fear for me but the strong currents, jellyfish and basking sharks are a different story.. it will also be a truly unique way of getting to Skokholm Island.”

After the swim Dave plans to stay on the island for three nights, and carry out some volunteering for the WTSWW while there.

Dave, who trains with Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club, will be raising money towards the WTSWW's work on Skokholm Island, a world famous seabird colony and Britain's first bird observatory, a status reinstated in 2014.

If you’d like to support Dave, visit the JustGiving page at

WTSWW is the largest charitable organisation working exclusively on all aspects of wildlife conservation in south and west Wales.

It currently manages around 85 nature reserves throughout the region, including Skomer and Skokholm islands.

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