School staff make waves for charity by swimming across Gibraltar Strait

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STRAIT HOME: Mat Parker (left) and Ian Glover after completing their feat

Ian Glover and Mat Parker completed the 15km crossing in three hours 40 minutes thanks to good weather conditions and a favourable current – the fifth fastest time any British swimmers have achieved the feat.

The Gibraltar Strait forms part of the Oceans 7 challenge, which involves swimming some of the toughest channel swims in the world, including the English Channel.

Building up to it involved three to four-hour swims at Leybourne Lakes and sea swims at Eastbourne and in Wales.

The final preparation was to swim from Portsmouth to Ryde on the Isle Of Wight and back.

Ian and Mat have previously swum Lake Windermere, raising almost £2,000 for Hospice In The Weald and also the length of the River Dart in Devon.

“The real memories were the fantastic team on the support boats who made sure there was plenty of carbohydrate drink every 45 minutes, but also the massive ships moving through the Gibraltar Strait,” said Ian.

“Seeing huge cargo ships having to slow down made you realise how small you are in such a huge ocean.”

Swimmers who crossed the
Strait the previous day said they had also spotted a pilot whale deep below them.

Ian added: “I would recommend open water swimming as a truly mesmerising experience. With the right safety set-up and training we would recommend it to anyone.”


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