Thrill-seeker takes on seas of Alcatraz!

Richard Williams after completing his world first Corryvreckan swim
Richard Williams after completing his world first Corryvreckan swim
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A daring thrill-seeker is planning to promote sea safety – by going for a swim in shark-infested waters.

Rick Williams, a crew member at Blackpool RNLI, will head to the infamous Alcatraz Island next month to swim across San Francisco bay.

He will attempt to make the 1.5-mile journey from the island that was home to the notorious prison to the mainland, avoiding various different types of shark on the way.

The ex-international freestyle swimmer hopes to raise £5,000 for the RNLI in the process, which has had an increase in call-outs due to the recent good weather.

He said: “The twist in this particular challenge is there are 14 different shark species in San Francisco Bay, including the great white.”

A keen open water swimmer, Mr Williams is always on the look-out for his next challenge.

Earlier this year he became the first man to swim across Corryvrechan, the world’s third largest whirlpool, three times in one go.

Mr Williams said: “It is certainly going to be my biggest challenge to date.”

But he will have a small team of people with him, including a designated shark spotter, to make sure he stays safe.

“I’m passionate about sea safety,” he added. “It goes hand in hand with what I do.”

Mr Williams said it is vital that people know the risks when they are at the beach.

He added: “We have got a fantastic Prom – we just need to be mindful of the dangers.”

He echoed the sentiments behind The Gazette’s own Think Sea Safety campaign, launched last year following the death of teenager David Sagar, from Lewtas Street, who fell from the sea wall near his home in North Shore.

Last year, of the RNLI’s 3,575 launches, 407 were from stations in the north and 28 were from Blackpool.

To support Rick’s efforts, visit