After swimming across the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, Delmont native Darren Miller will become the first American man to complete the Ocean’s Seven. This challenge requires swimmers to cross the seven most difficult ocean channels in the world. He swims almost exclusively for his charity, the Forever Fund, which has already raised over $60,000 for families struggling to pay bills for their children living in cardiothoracic wards of hospitals.
Miller recently swam across the Tsugaru Channel in Japan and the Cook Strait in New Zealand.
The Tsugaru Channel lies between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. It took Miller almost 16 hours to complete.
“It was a very unique challenge…and in a body of water unknown to most of the world,” Miller describes. In both the Cook Strait and Tsugaru Channel, he was caught unexpectedly by tides in the evening. But he says that after these six swims, he has no doubt he can complete the seventh. His “three boat” theory keeps him motivated.
“The two boats are in the water with me and the third boat is family that I’ve lost, friends that I’ve lost, when I visualize the third boat it keeps me going.”
Miller has been warned about the unique challenges of the North Channel. The water will induce hypothermic conditions while he swims and he will be stung by jellyfish in the water anywhere from 100 to 200 times.
“Luckily I’ll be so cold that I won’t feel the stings,” Miller explains, “but those toxins will still be going into my body.”
But Miller is enthusiastic about his August swim in North Ireland. Because he has full sponsorship for each swim, he plans to give 100% of the funds raised by the event to the Forever Fund.