Round the clock swimming challenge for brave triathlon team in Herne Bay

Lifeboats News Release

24 hours. 35 people. 42 miles. £2400 to raise. The swimming triathlon team from Active Life Leisure Centre in Herne Bay are making a splash to raise money for a search and rescue charity.

Claire Boucher, triathlon coach and events organiser for Active Life with some of the team members from the Active Life Triathlon Club, after class in the indoor pool

Claire Boucher/Active Life Triathlon Club

Active Life Triathlon Club team members

A team of 35 water lovers will take on a 24-hour relay in their indoor pool. The swimming squad will start their race at 7am on Sunday (1 May) and aims to cover a total of 42 miles by 7pm on Monday evening (2 May). If all goes swimmingly well, by the end of the last leg, they hope to have reached their £2400 fundraising goal to support the RNLI’s lifesaving work.

With two swimmers in the pool each hour, the team’s mission is to swim as far as possible to reach their goal of 42 miles. So far, their ambitious plan has inspired supporters to donate, raising £1,287 towards the £2400 target.

Coach Claire Boucher has kept the team focused and fit with evening or weekend classes, and the group has been training in the pool and open water. From using specific bodywork and weights to build the muscles that power their swimming strokes to developing breathing techniques and patterns, the team is now ready for the challenge.

Emma Jane (EJ) Crossman, a Regulatory Oversight Officer at KPMG, has been taking swimming classes with the Active Life Triathlon Club for six years. She joined the group because she wanted to train out of her comfort zone in a safe environment. After suffering from a leg injury, the training has helped her tremendously, so EJ will be in the water for two hours during Monday’s relay.

‘After a twice-ruptured Achilles tendon which saw me out of the water for a year, the first place I wanted to be was back in the water. Coach Claire adapted sets to take account of my recovery, which was sped up by swimming so frequently.

As a team, we have so much fun together in the pool. I really enjoy the variety of our training, and the sense of humour is unbelievable. The team has also welcomed my son with open arms as he has come to help poolside for his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).’

For most of the challenge, the participants will use freestyle, but EJ, who is in the water for the two-hour slot, will alternate with backstroke to exercise different muscle groups.

Another participant, Dan Brown, a local Osteopath during the day, has been an active member of the Triathlon Club team for more than six years. For him, swimming is a way of life, and he urges the public to be prepared when heading out to the sea this summer.

‘I have always been an open water swimmer and regularly compete in both local and national events, including river swims. Last year, I participated in the Thames 10 mile and River Arun 6KM. I am also a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster and have sailed since I was a boy. This has led to my profound respect for the sea.

At some point, we all use the beach or get involved in activities on the water, so we need the reassurance that the lifeboat service is available when any of us may need help. The weather is warming up now it’s spring, so people are now flocking to the coast. This will increase as we move towards summer. Now is a good time to keep the RNLI in mind, and to remember how important it is to be respectful of the sea and find out more about tides, winds, and forecasts.’

Claire Boucher, triathlon coach and events organiser for Active Life, said:

As a triathlon club, we are a group of avid water fans, be it swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing etc. The sea is where we feel most comfortable, and that is in part due to the wonderful work the RNLI do. We organised this event because it felt like a great way we could give back and support the wonderful work the RNLI does by keeping the water safe for everyone.’

To support the challenge, please use the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/activelifletriathlonclub24hourrelay?fbclid=IwAR1PGArSVTKbF0yy...

The 24-hour relay is on the first day of RNLI’s Mayday challenge. With demand for its lifesaving services at a high ahead of a busy summer around our coasts, the RNLI is putting out its own ‘Mayday’ call, urging the public to take part in the Mayday Mile. Whether you choose to walk, jog, hop or skip, the Mayday Mile is a fun way to cover at least one mile in any way you like between Saturday 1 and Tuesday 31 May, whilst raising vital funds for RNLI lifesavers so that they can continue to keep people safe at sea.

Visit RNLI.org/SupportMayday for more information and to sign up RNLI.org/SupportMayday

Ends

Notes to editors

  • In 2021, RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards saved 408 lives – more than one life saved every day and 59 more than the previous year.
  • RNLI lifeboats launched 8,868 times last year – an increase of 7% on 2020
  • Active Life is a not for profit, registered charity. As Kent‘s leading sports, fitness and leisure provider, they are dedicated to improving the fitness, well being and health of everyone in the area. They offer a comprehensive range of sports, fitness and health promotion activities delivered through their five leisure and fitness sites - Kingsmead Leisure Centre, Herons Leisure Centre, The Bay Sports Arena, Whitstable Swimming Pool and Whitstable Sports Centre - https://activelifeltd.co.uk/

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 07827 358256 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 0778 5296252 or email [email protected] Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected].

RNLI online

For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.

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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.

Selfie of Claire Boucher, triathlon coach and events organiser for Active Life, and some of the team members from the Active Life Triathlon Club, next to the indoor pool

Claire Boucher/Active Life Triathlon Club

Active Life Triathlon Club team members

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.