Divers swim distance of English Channel to raise charity funds

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English Channel

Divers take part in the BSAC English Channel Swim event in aid of Activlives charity in Ipswich on 18-June-2016.

Billericay SAC, iDive SAC and DiveLine Diving Centre have recently completed the equivalent of swimming the English Channel underwater, all in aid of charity.

The distance was completed by a team of 27 divers, including event organiser Steve Barnes and BSAC Council member Dave Lock in just under two hours.

The event took place at Crown Pools in Ipswich and to cover the 20.6 miles distance the team needed to swim 1,326 lengths of the 25-metre pool. All the money raised by the team will go towards a £3,500 project to broaden the scope of the Suffolk-based ActivLives charity, which works to keep older people active for longer.

Steve Barnes, a member of Billericay SAC and is on the board of trustees for ActivLives, said: “It turned out to be a fantastic event and we actually did more than the required distance. We actually covered 1,350 which is fantastic.

“We are waiting to see how much we have raised. We do have a JustGiving page but a lot of divers who took part have secured their own sponsorship and are collecting the money in.

English Channel

Members from idive and Billericay SAC at the event.

“It was just a wonderful team effort and I’m so please with the way everyone worked and pulled together to complete the challenge.”

The diving team also included newly-weds Anne Marie and Winston Grealy, members of both Billericay and iDive Sub Aqua Clubs who flew back from their Red Sea honeymoon just in time to take part. The pair met on a Red Sea scuba diving trip and had a diving-themed wedding this spring.

Anne Marie said of the fundraising challenge: “I did 54 lengths which wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be to be honest. The biggest problem was the shallow end and trying to stay below the water, especially when the cylinder was less full of air.

“It was a really lovely event and everyone just pulled together. To cover the distance we did is wonderful.”

Mary Tetley, BSAC Chief Executive said: “Scuba diving is enjoyed by people of all ages in our clubs around the UK, so it’s great to see our members getting involved with a unique charity event and helping to encourage more people to get active. Well done to everyone who took part!”

www.justgiving.com/Divetheenglishchannel

Photos: www.stephenwaller.com

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