The Big American Pier Swim in Cobh Ireland was an event many years in the making.
On May 7 1917, the US sent Naval Destroyers to assist the British against the German U-boats in the North Sea. Constructed in 1918, the American Pier was used to facilitate the transfer of wounded naval servicemen for treatment in the Naval Base Hospital No. 4 at Whitepoint.
And although the portable hospitals had been taken down already, the pier remained to where it was originally erected.
Throughout the more than 100 years that it was standing, the pier had seen its structure battled the elements and crumbled to the waters of Cork Harbour.
It should be mentioned that the pier has been used by Cobh locals as a platform for swimming in the Cork Harbour.
Fast forward August 13 2023, the American Pier Cobh Association organized the Big American Swim for the Heritage Week in Cork. The event focused on the historical significance and relationship of the British/Irish and American during the war and the fundraising awareness to repair the pier.
The event saw some throwback costume of nurses in their WW1 uniforms and lady swimmers in their 1920s-style swimsuits. There was a mini exhibit of old wartime pictures, music, and more and the highlight, of course, was the swim with participants jumping off from the pier.
Update: See IrishExaminer article – “Campaigners secure half the funds needed to repair historic ‘American pier’ in Cobh”
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