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Glasgow student swims 840 lengths for RNLI to celebrate 21st Birthday

Lifeboats News Release

Claire Thomson completed a swim of 21 kilometres (840 lengths) on Monday 12 December to celebrate her 21st birthday and raise money for the RNLI and Anstruther RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Claire can be seen at the end of her charity swim after swimming 840 lengths in under 5.5 hours

Claire Thomson

Claire at the end of her charity challenge after swimming 840 lengths in under 5.5 hours

The Glasgow student, who grew up in Dalgety Bay, has been a swimmer all her life and after working for the RNLI over the summer, she decided to take on the epic fundraising challenge to raise money for the charity.

Claire said: ‘Having been a swimmer for as long as I can remember and after completing my Regional Media Engagement Placement for the charity over the summer, swimming a kilometre for every year since I was born seemed like a fitting thing to do.

‘This summer, I witnessed first-hand the incredible work of the RNLI volunteers and crew members across the 46 lifeboat stations in Scotland. I loved the experience and the opportunities that I had as part of the charity to help raise awareness of the hard work and dedication of the volunteers who help save lives at sea.’

Claire hoped to complete her challenge to swim 840 lengths in under 7 hours, but actually completed the swim in under 5 hours 19 minutes and 50 seconds – over 90 minutes quicker than expected.

She added: ‘I was really shocked at my final time but so pleased that I was able to complete the challenge and raise vital funds for the RNLI. Any donations are much appreciated.’

Claire set herself a fundraising target of £700 and has already raised over £1,000 which will be split between the RNLI and Anstruther RNLI towards their new lifeboat station. If you would like to support Claire, please visit:





RNLI media contacts


Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Claire can be seen wearing a yellow RNLI top after completing her swim.

Claire Thomson

Claire has raised over £1,000 so far for the RNLI and Anstruther RNLI.

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.