Our volunteers are a very generous bunch, giving up a lot of time and energy not just attending callouts when the phone goes off at 3 in the morning, but also taking part in regular training and fundraising events. However team members Andy Turner and Jim Webster have really gone the extra mile, or should that be 10 miles in swimming across Torbay to raise funds for the team!
Both keen wild swimmers, Jim and Andy set themselves a challenge of swimming from Ness Beach in Shaldon to Brixham Breakwater both swimming the entire 10 miles as opposed to a relay. They also set themselves a target of raising £2,000 for their chosen good causes, Cancer Research UK and ourselves. Andy said ” The choice of charities was simple as we have both lost a parent to cancer and both volunteer for the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team – Ashburton. The 2 charities rely on public support for their funding and we want to use the challenge to help support the great work they do”.
The route followed the coast from Shaldon to Hopes Nose before heading directly across the bay to Brixham. The guys left Ness Beach at 08:30 am yesterday morning and expected the swim to take between 5 and 7 hours. In the end they both finished the ride in less than 5 hours with Andy taking just 4 hours 20 minutes.
An elated Andy at the finish said. “That was very enjoyable. The conditions were pretty good and we passed very close to a pod of about 20 porpoises on the way.” Andy went on to say “The support we have had has been fantastic, and we are very grateful to all who saw us off from Ness Beach and the welcome party at the beach at Brixham”
Jim also expressed his thanks “I would like to say a special thank you to James the driver of my safety boat and to Gibset Marine at Torquay harbour for the loan of the boat. To Trev my safety kayaker who fed and watered me on route and to Georgie for the goodie bag complete with Big Swim T shirts presented on our arrival on the beach at Brixham.”
Jim also had a word for his swim partner Andy “A very big thank you to Andy for all the the training swims and swimming tips that helped so much. I won’t mention here how much quicker than me he was!!!”
We are very proud of them both and very grateful for the efforts they have put in in raising funds for the team. Our Fundraising Officer Al Pewsey said. “I thought they were slightly mad when they first came up with the fundraising idea but had no doubt they would complete it in style. Being at the beach at Brixham watch them approach the shore was very special and the money they’ve raised will will be put to good use in saving lives and making a difference to our local community”.
The story of their challenge made it on to the BBC Spotlight news programme on Sunday 7th September, a copy of the video is below.