Swimmer pays touching tribute to his late father
A SON has made a touching tribute to his late father by swimming 24 kilometres down the River Towy. Andrew Jones, 44, from Llangunnor, Carmarthen, wanted to honour his father, Arthur, who passed away in hospital in October last year, following a road accident. The 84 year-old was one of the founders of Carmarthen Swimming Club and a long term coach. He designed the club logo, which is still used today. Arthur used to enjoy swimming in the River Towy, which Andrew said was “his playground back in the day when there were no pools.” Arthur was previously in the military, and served in the air force in Malaysia as an engineer. Upon returning to Carmarthen, he got involved in swimming. Sadly, Arthur died at the town’s Glangwili Hospital after last year’s accident. “He had an operation after the crash, but never recovered”, said Andrew. On the anniversary of his death, Andrew wanted to turn something negative into something positive so decided to swim the 23.7km distance (around 14 miles) between Glangwili and Llansteffan in his memory, raising funds along the way. Andrew, who works at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, raised money for the Vascular Society with the swim and is still fundraising. He got in the water at the River Gwili near the hospital and swam. After 4km, the Gwili joined the Towy and he made his way down to Carmarthen and onward past The Quay towards Johnstown. Then it was on to the mouth of the river at Llansteffan, where his dad used to enjoy visiting and having picnics. He was met there by his mum, Pat, 79. Andrew said: “The whole thing took five hours and four minutes. “It was a fight to beat the tide, as it turned at 2.30pm, so it was a relief to arrive at the end just after lunchtime.” He added: “By the time I saw Llansteffan Castle, I was feeling quite delirious. It was just a matter of arm over arm over arm.” Andrew had some friends out on kayaks and a boat to support him during the swim, feeding him soup, energy gels and even a ham roll to keep him going. Andrew admits he is not a natural swimmer, having played a lot of rugby in his youth but injury forced him off the field.
Andrew Jones completing a 24km swim of the River Towy from Glangwili to Llansteffan in memmory of his late father Arthur, who was one of the founding members of Carmarthen Swimming Club.