Virgin Group founder and chairman Sir Richard Branson is not your typical entrepreneur. In addition to being an outrageously successful businessman and one of the wealthiest people in the world, Branson has proven himself to be quite the daredevil. One of his more notable stunts is a persistent and ongoing attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a hot-air balloon.
What makes this wacky Brit such a lovable figure, though, is his humanitarianism and philanthropy, which he often combines with his flair for the dramatic. Branson’s latest venture in that arena? Why, swimming the Irish Sea, of course! In order to raise money for cancer research, Branson and Irish pop star Ronan Keating (of the Dublin band Boyzone) will swim the 56-mile body of water. The successful swim would seek to set a new Guinness World Record, and, more importantly, it would raise £1 million for Cancer Research UK.
If you’d like to show your support for the ambitious celebrity swim, you can make a donation at Virgin’s website. Better yet, if you live in the UK (or plan on being there in the near future), you can actually join Branson and Keating’s relay team by signing up at the event’s Facebook page.
It’s a pretty rare opportunity to swim the Irish Sea in the first place, but swimming it with Richard Branson to support cancer research? If that’s not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I don’t know what is. Besides, I doubt that even Branson could handle a 56-mile swim without some assistance.