Amateur Irish swimmer Steve Redmond from Cork has become the first person to complete the gruelling Oceans7 Challenge, considered to be the open water swimming equivalent to climbing the seven summits.

Redmond crossed the 20km Tsugaru Strait in Japan yesterday evening in a time of 14 hours 24 minutes.

The 46-year-old from Ballydehob has now entered the history books as the first person ever to complete the challenge.

Redmond has succeeded in beating off competition from professionals around the world who were racing to complete the challenge.

The Oceans Seven comprises of seven channels of varying distances and difficulties around the globe: the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland, English Channel between England and France, Cook Strait between the north and south islands of New Zealand, Molokai Channel in Hawaii, Catalina Channel off California, Gibraltar Strait between Spain and Morocco and the Tsugaru Strait in Japan.

Redmond said: "It's not until you leave Ireland that you realise how important it is to be Irish. You tell an Irish person that they can't do something and they'll do everything they can to prove you wrong."