Donal Buckley

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The Lone Swimmer
Donal Buckley is an open-water swimmer and writer from South-East Ireland. He is an English Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim soloist and a two-way English Channel relay member. Donal is the voice of the renowned open-water swimming blog, a co-founder of the Marathon Swimmers Forum and Marathon Swimmers Federation, a co-author of the MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, and a key figure in the debunking of Diana Nyad's purported swim from Cuba to Florida in 2013.

He is a member of Sandycove Island Swimming Club and his swims include Clew Bay, Blackrock to Cobh, 8 hours around Sandycove Island, 6 hours around Sandycove Island in under 12 degrees Celsius, both Beginish Island routes, Guillamene to Brownstown Head and back unsupported, Irish Champion of Champions, Sandycove to Speckled Door and back, Roches Head to Power Head and back, and the first person to swim the length of Ireland’s Copper Coast in a series of solo unsupported swims. He has also acted as an Observer, and crewed many Channel swims, including Trent Grimsey's 2012 English Channel record and Sylvain Estadieu's First English Channel Male Butterfly swim in 2013.


The blog is the voice and words of Donal Buckley who gives swimmers around the world ample and emotional reasons to pull for him, although most have never met him.

LoneSwimmer inspires, educates and makes people smile and think with profound prose and a unique perspective. Buckley takes difficult topics and makes them simple. He takes unknown issues and makes them engaging. He tackles the concept of marathon swimming with zest and vigor and a uniquely educational and entertaining point-of-view.

Buckley simply makes the global open water swimming world a better place. His topics range from physical to psychological, from hypothermia to injuries, from training to its impact on daily life. He is introspective, intellectual, interesting and intriguing from his lone outpost in the southeast of Ireland.

LoneSwimmer was selected as the Best Irish Sports and Recreation Blog in 2012 by the Blog Awards of Ireland.

"I’m an Open Water swimmer living in the South-East of Ireland. I’ve been swimming Open Water for some years, on the South-East & South Irish coasts.

Marathon swimmers would never complete any swim without the help and assistance of family and friends and volunteers to whom we owe so much, putting our lives and dreams in their hands. Almost everything about Open Water that I know, I’ve learned the hard way. I don't like hoarded knowledge for ego so I like to share what I’ve learned. Mostly therefore, I’ll write about what I know and have experienced.

Your mileage may vary. You may have conflicting opinions. For open-water swimming, it’s all about the mind."

Buckley's Video of the English Channel

The English Channel is not always this way, but Buckley captured Dover Harbour on a particularly rough day:

External links

Personal tools
Annual Recognition
Insurance and Sanctions
OWS Conferences
Race Calendar
Travel & Vacations
Education Programs
About OWP
Courtesy of