Wednesday, 17 July 2024
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Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Swimmer Faces Monster Challenge As Nessie Fans Gather

A charity fundraiser is about to push her open water swimming limits by attempting to swim Loch Ness watched by hundreds of ‘Nessie’ enthusiasts. 

Helen Smith from Watford is heading to Scotland for a solo swim which is considered notoriously difficult and dangerous.

Her challenge will coincide with what’s expected to be the biggest hunt for the Loch Ness Monster for more than 50 years, as Nessie fans from around the world converge on the shores of the freshwater loch.

Helen said:

“I’ll certainly have an audience and, monsters aside, there’ll be some very real things for me to worry about such as the water temperature which is particularly cold at night-time.

“Loch Ness is listed among the very tough marathon swims and certainly one which isn’t to be taken lightly.”

Even if conditions are relatively calm, the 22-mile swim could take as long as 16 hours.

Helen, who tragically lost her 12-year-old nephew to suicide, will be raising money for the national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide and the British Heart Foundation.

She is hoping for ideal weather conditions on the loch between Sunday 27 August and Saturday 2 September.

Helen’s swimming sister Hayley Brant from Wokingham near Reading will be part of her support team.

Last year the sisters swam Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston Water in Cumbria over three days, a distance of 24 miles.

Previously their longest swim was across the English Channel.

Helen added:

“Loch Ness will certainly push my limits but I’m really looking forward to it.

“The catalyst was the death of our younger sister, Heather, who had a heart condition and then the suicide of her son Charlie, our nephew. We hope to create a legacy for them and raise money to help others.”

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org.

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