Local open-water swimming coach, Dee Harmer, from Fish2Water successfully swam the English Channel as part of a relay team.

Dee said: ‘I am thrilled to have completed this epic swim with my three friends: Barney, Clare and Alice. It took us around 14 and a half hours, taking turns to swim an hour at a time with a pilot boat alongside us all the way. It was exhausting and a little scary as we started the swim in the middle of the night. We each spent an hour in the water at a time and it took us a total 14 hours and 20 minutes. You have to have a pilot boat to accompany you safely across and in the pitch black, we certainly needed it.’

Dee was the first in the water and in rough seas, had to swim from the boat to the start beach in Dover and then start following the boat once a klaxon had sounded. The sea was rough for the first four hours and most of the team suffered sea sickness so had to swim on empty stomachs. ‘It was one of the most amazing things I have done and one of the scariest – not to be forgotten, that’s for sure,’ said Dee.

The team were fundraising for two charities – Sussex Search and Rescue and Parkinsons UK. Dee volunteers for Search and Rescue and wanted to fundraise for Parkinsons UK as her mother, Valerie, suffers from the disease. Dee said: ‘Mum was diagnosed at only 42 and she has coped with it until recently. Now, at 69, I can now see it stealing bits of her away, which is horrible. She was always an active person and still loves a sea swim.’

If you would like to make a donation to either of these charities, just use these shortened links to the swim team’s Just Giving pages: Search and Rescue – shorturl.at/DFMZ9 and Parkinsons UK – shorturl.at/GKMQZ.

Find out more about Dee’s swimming courses at https://f2w.co.uk

Congratulations to Dee, Barney, Clare and Alice for their amazing achievement.