Kenilworth company director to 'escape from Alcatraz' to raise money for cancer treatment unit

Neil Curtis, managing director of Net Visibility, will be swimming from Alcatraz to the San Francisco mainland to raise money for Warwick Hospital's cancer unit
Neil Curtis, managing director of Net Visibility, will be swimming from Alcatraz to the San Francisco mainland to raise money for Warwick Hospital's cancer unit

The director of a Kenilworth company will be swimming from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco to the US mainland to raise money for Warwick Hospital’s cancer unit.

Neil Curtis, managing director of Net Visibility, will take on the 1.5 mile swim from the infamous prison to Fisherman's Wharf with 50 other swimmers on Saturday November 3.

He has described the challenge as 'wonderfully mad', but there is a serious side to his swim.

Five years ago, Neil’s mother Sylvia was diagnosed with cancer and is currently receiving treatment from the hospital’s Ambulatory Cancer Unit.

All the money raised during his swim will enable the unit to purchase better equipment for cancer treatment and help make patient and their families’ waiting areas more comfortable.

Neil has been training frequently for his swim in south Wales, but felt the unique conditions of the swim from Alcatraz could still prove difficult.

He said: "The distance shouldn't be the issue - the difficulty is the strong cross currents and water temperatures of 12 degrees centigrade.

"This really is a technically challenging swim. The challenge will be aiming for landmarks a significant distance away from the finish point and judging the tides so that I perfectly curve into the narrow entrance to Fisherman’s Wharf. Miss this and I will end up in no man’s land under the Golden Gate Bridge."

Anyone wishing to donate should visit Neil's Just Giving page.