A Lancashire dad is planning his escape from Alcatraz prison to raise funds in memory of his friend who died of an undiagnosed heart condition.
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Father-of-three Richard Sharples, of Longton, will swim two miles from the prison at Alcatraz Island to San Francisco on July 14 in aid of CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) to honour Stevie Wiggins, who died in 2005, aged 30.
He will be guided by Odyssey Open Water Swimming.
The 49-year-old, who is a manager at M&J Thistlethwaite Earthworks, in Goosnargh, said: “I will be swimming in strong currents and there is supposed to be sharks, although I don’t think they are very big.
“It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to do such an iconic swim ever since I was a child and I watch the film Escape from Alcatraz.
“I am really excited and looking forward to it. My wife Caroline will be coming to support me and my two younger children will also be watching me. my son thinks the idea of swimming with sharks is crazy.
“I estimate I will be in the water one hour 40 minutes and there will be a boat with us.
“I am 50 in June and so I wanted to do something to mark that.
“I started training two months ago at Total Fitness in Preston and swim for two-and-a-half hours. I am still building up to swimming in the Lake District in June, when the water will still be cold.
“I swam the length of Conniston 10 years ago, but that was calm water.
“I am hoping to raise more than £1,000 in Stevie’s memory.”
To sponsor Richard visit http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-sharples3