A POOLE man is aiming to be the first person to swim around the ‘shark-populated’ Grand Cayman island in the Caribbean.

Oly Rush who smashed the round-the-Isle-of-Wight record last year is to attempt a far bigger challenge – by swimming around Grand Cayman.

The plasterer from Upton near Poole in Dorset will take on the 60 mile swim non-stop at the end of May.

Oly, 37, believes it will take him 30 hours through the shark-populated waters to complete the circumnavigation.

Bournemouth Echo: Oly RushOly Rush

It is a challenge that has never been done before and he is taking it on with partners Plastic Free Cayman and Project Planet to raise money and awareness about sea pollution.

Oly will fly out to the island in the Caribbean six weeks before he starts and will visit schools there to give talks.

He will also put in a few weeks of training in the warm water before setting out on or around May 22.

Oly said: “I’ve been planning this since I completed the Isle of Wight swim and wanted to do it because it’s never been done before.

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“I have friends on Grand Cayman who have been helping and I wanted to spread the anti-pollution message to a new audience.

“I’ve been saving up for the swim and still haven’t found a main sponsor but still hope to raise as much money as possible.

“There are some big differences to the last swim including the sea temperature which will be about 27 degrees. This means it will be hot in the day but it’s good for night swimming.

“With the Isle of Wight swim I was able to use the tides to my advantage but there is no such assistance in Grand Cayman, so although the distances are comparable, the challenge isn’t.

Bournemouth Echo: Oly Rush

“I’m often asked about the threat from sharks and I’m taking it seriously and we’re doing all we can to mitigate the risks.

“A big driving factor for this swim is to make the oceans a safer, healthier place for all the creatures that live in them.

“It is an enormous challenge but I’ve put in the training and have a very professional team behind me.”

In August last year Oly swam 65 miles around the Isle of Wight in 15 hours and nine minutes.

His latest swim has a Go Fund Me Page which can be found by searching ‘The Grand Swim’ or by clicking here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bsywxj-charity-swim-around-grand-cayman?qid=3a6b5a71df5eaed21f1b1383b3f1ae25