Video: Cookstown swimmer Lukasz Kowalczyk conquers the North Channel

A Cookstown man has completed the first half of a unique athletic feat by swimming from Ulster to Scotland.

Lukasz Kowalczyk left Donaghadee around 5.30am on Tuesday morning alongside a support boat and began swimming northwards into the Irish Sea.

Lukasz's progress at 2pm on Tuesday taken from his live web tracking.

Lukasz's progress at 2pm on Tuesday taken from his live web tracking.

Thankfully mother nature was smiling on the well known sportsman from Mid Ulster as the fine weather conditions took the edge off the frigid water conditions.

The water remains at its coldest in June and hypothermia remains a huge risk for anyone taking on this challenge at this time of year - to date only one other person has swum the North Channel during this time.

A few hours into the swim Lukasz turned towards the west and adjusted his course towards the small town of Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway on the Scottish coast. As per the rules he was not able to touch the boat during the entire trip which took between 12 and 15 hours.

The entire trip is equivalent to swimming from Castledawson in South Derry to Moy on the Tyrone-Armagh border.

Lucas Kowalczyk. INMM3013-138ar.

Lucas Kowalczyk. INMM3013-138ar.

Lukasz, who is originally from Raciborz in Southern Poland, will be back in the water in nine days when he attempts to become the first person to swim the English Channel to become the first person to conquer both swimming challenges in such a short period of time.

“I want to do something that no one has ever done before and no one has ever swum both channels in such a short period of time,” he told the Mail before his epic swim.

You can support Lukasz’s Four Nation Channel Swim at and you can see his previous challenges at