Swimmers take to the water for RNLI Castle to Castle event

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday (12th September 2021) 160 swimmers took part in the annual Castle to Castle Swim, across the mouth of the River Fal, to raise money for the RNLI.

RNLI/Meg Hocking

Swimmers preparing for the annual RNLI Castle 2 Castle Swim

The iconic one-mile open water sea swim started at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth and finished at St Mawes Castle on the Roseland Peninsula. Primarily organised by volunteers, the event has been running for over a decade and has raised over £200K for the RNLI during this time.

The first swimmer to reach St Mawes this year was Felix Hinton-Smith, who completed the swim in 23 minutes and 59 seconds. The last swimmer ashore took one hour and 18 minutes, still receiving one of the biggest applauses of the day from supporters.

Falmouth Lifeboat Station has worked closely with Cornwall Council and the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, to ensure the Castle to Castle was Covid-safe. Usually open to 450 participants, this year’s event was carried over from 2020. Swimmers who were signed up were given the option to take part in 2021 or defer their entry until 2022.

A spokesperson for Falmouth Lifeboat said: “It was fantastic to see people coming together for the Castle to Castle Swim again on Sunday, having had to postpone it since 2019, due to the pandemic. It always promises to be a great atmosphere.

“Thank you to all of the volunteers, both ashore and afloat, who gave up their time to help with the event. This includes our lifeboat crew, RNLI lifeguards, fundraisers, volunteers from local lifesaving clubs, and a flotilla of private and commercial boats. We’d also like to thank English Heritage, Fal River Ferries, Falmouth Town Team and Bear Cornwall for all their support.

“We appreciate every single donation raised by this year’s swimmers. Over the years these valuable funds have gone such a long way in helping our local lifeboats and lifeguards to save lives at sea.”

Planning for next year’s Castle to Castle Swim is already underway and will take place early next summer. If you’re an intermediate or experienced open water swimmer, and over 14 years old, contact castle2castle@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI/Meg Hocking

An open water swimmer, taking part in the annual RNLI Castel 2 Castle Swim

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.