An open water swimming club in England achieved a monster swimming feat earlier this week.
A team of five swimmers, two crew and two officials, most of them from Scarborough Kingfishers Swimming Club, completed a round-trip stint from Loch Ness between Sunday and Tuesday with a final time of 26 hours, 48 minutes and 4 seconds.
It was a swimmer from Scarborough named David Morgan who was the first to make a solo double crossing of the loch, setting an unbeaten record time of 23 hours 4 minutes at the age of 20.
Kingfishers open water coach Paula Ambury said her team was aiming to break the record but was caught out by a technical foul on Sunday.
She said: “At 5.30am that night our boat broke down, and we were supposed to leave at 8am. I don’t know how, someone must have been watching from somewhere, but within 45 minutes we had managed to find another boat and a pilot, so the swim went ahead anyway.
The boat that broke was that of Stewart Griffiths, who joined the team after 12 hours on the new boat and skippered the final leg.
Ms Ambury said: ‘He was fantastic, went above and beyond to help us achieve our dream and I cannot recommend him highly enough for his piloting services.’
The swimming team was formed by Georgia Amison, Maddy Adams, Bill Hitchcock, Jane Sedman and Scottish open water swimming champion Colleen Blair MBE.
This attempt had been three years in the planning and was originally staged for 2019.
“The swimmers were amazing,” Ms. Ambury said. “It took us 15 hours to do the first run because our pilot hadn’t joined us yet. So the person there was inexperienced and had never taken swimmers before but bless him he took us to the other end and then when the real pilot joined us just before Lochend we came back in less than 12 hours.
“We would have broken the record if the boat hadn’t broken.
“However, it’s not a matter of time, we really wanted to do it.
“But we did! But it was so dark – Loch Ness is so dark at night, I’ve never been so dark.
His father, Ken Dickinson, rode the boat that accompanied David Morgan in 1983.
She said: “He did the whole 48 miles, and I wanted to come back just to see how he did it, I have no idea how he did it all those years ago!”
“It’s the coldest water you can swim in and the darkest. Even on the sunniest day, it would still be so dark underwater.
“It was a pleasure and a privilege to help bring this race to a successful conclusion.”
Maddy Adams (18), the youngest swimmer on the team, said: “It was an absolutely amazing experience and to be able to finish it was even more special for me.
“This challenge was great to blow my hair off on results day (August 18), which was awesome.”
“It was quite weird, my shoulder was giving up and at one point I wasn’t sure I could finish it, but I did a little sprint and luckily I got to the end.
“I love swimming and it takes me everywhere, and it’s such a beautiful part of the world!”