Charity swimmers raise over £15,000 with a 16-mile open water swim
Lifeboats News Release
A group of charity swimmers is waiting to hear if a relay swim across the Firth of Clyde will enter the record books.
The swimmers have raised more than £15,000 to be shared between the RNLI and the Jo Walters Trust after they completed a 16-mile open water swim from Arran to Troon.
Now the Arran TrooNautics swim group is seeking ratification from the British Long Distance Swimming Association for the event.
The swim date was delayed by bad weather and they eventually started on 1 October from Arran before sunrise at 5.18am, arriving on Barassie beach, near Troon, 15 hours 19 minutes later at 8.37pm. The air temperature was quite brisk and the water temperature was a chilly 13 degrees, rising to 14 degrees during the day.
Coach Chris Sifleet of Swim4Miles said, ‘The two teams did an amazing job completing the challenge. Swimmers coming out of the water were often very shivery but they were generally back up on deck encouraging their teammates within an hour of their swim. No one flagged or complained. Everyone just got on with the job.’
One of the swimmers, Katherine Self, said, ‘There were a few jellyfish stings along the way and we also spotted many eels and swam alongside seals and porpoises.’
She added, ‘It was great support to see the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter hovering above me during one of my hour swims.’
The Jo Walters Trust was founded by Lucy Johnston in memory of her 28-year-old sister Jo who died in a cycling accident.
Lucy said, ‘We had a wonderful day and the support we had along the way with lots of encouraging facebook messages and donations really spurred us along. It was lovely to know so many people were rooting for us.’
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.