Speaking on Today with Miriam O'Callaghan, Marty Morrisey explained that despite being "brought up on the west coast of Clare, looking out at the Atlantic", the American-born presenter never learned to swim.

"When we came home from America when I was 11, I went from the lights of the Bronx to watching the Aran Islands lighthouse every 13 seconds - that was the big highlight at night time.

"I fell in love with the sea but it was part of the culture, at the time, that people didn't know how to swim - there was a fear of the sea but, thankfully, that culture has changed."

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Earlier this year, having bonded on the dancefloor of Dancing with the Stars, Marty and Bernard O'Shea brought their bromance to the next level with a two-part series called Marty and Bernard's Big Adventure.

As part of the show, the pair were tasked with surviving a night out in the wild which included a dip in a lake in Wicklow. It was while filming this segment that Marty realised how truly uncomfortable he was in the water - and that it was time to change.

"I have that fear. I'm grand when I go on holidays, I paddle in the water but once it goes to my neck, that fear comes again," he told Miriam.

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This September (when the All-Ireland is over, of course), Marty will take up his swimming lessons as part of a Royal National Lifeboat Institution and GAA initiative, promoting the RNLI's Respect the Water campaign. Also involved in the campaign is former hurling manager Anthony Daly who can swim but has had experience of losing a fond friend on the water. 

Marty said that he hopes to spread the message, to enjoy the water but to be careful in it too. 

"I've met a lot of people, since this became known, and a lot of them have the same thing. Here we are on an island and this RNLI and GAA partnership is about community and volunteerism and I was delighted to be asked to be an ambassador - this is something we should encourage."

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Miriam told Marty she looks forward to seeing him in his speedos! 

Listen back to the interview on Today with Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1 below:

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