An historic round-the-island swimming relay, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Dr Sean O'Connell's solo circumnavigation of Bermuda, raised $30,000 for the disabled.

Willard Fox, chairman of the Bermuda Physically Handicapped Association (BPHA), thanked Dr O'Connell and the fifty plus swimmers who took part in the event after receiving the news this week.

"Sean is an extraordinary person, who is always doing things that everybody says is impossible. He's been a member of the association for many years and we always appreciate everything he does for us.

"We're waiting for him to come up with something else unusual to do."

O' Connell made history in 1976 when he became the first and only man to swim around Bermuda.

The former college professor, who completed the last leg of the two-day swim relay in July, has also attempted to go round the island on a surf bike.

Each time the proceeds have gone to the BPHA.

"These things just keep coming up," he said. I never thought I would do anything else and then this came up. Anything can happen -- I'm full of surprises, even to myself." O'Connell said the fundraising had been a huge collective effort on behalf of all the swimmers who had taken part and totalled more than all his other efforts put together.

"There were more than 50 people contributing. And the swimming association was really effective and wonderful in that regard."

Nick Strong, chairman of the Bermuda Masters Swimming Association, which organized the event, said the XL Foundation had added $5,000 to the $25,000 raised by the swimmers, bringing the total to $30,000.