Doctors swim from Isle of Wight to Southsea for Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Rocky Appeal

MADE IT! The Rocky Swimmers celebrate arriving at Southsea beach after their swim across the Solent from Ryde.   Picture: Steve Reid (112619-664)
MADE IT! The Rocky Swimmers celebrate arriving at Southsea beach after their swim across the Solent from Ryde. Picture: Steve Reid (112619-664)
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DOCTORS, nurses and past patients braved the cold waters of the Solent to raise cash for a hospital appeal.

The fundraisers took part in a charity swim from the Isle of Wight to Southsea beach to help the Rocky Appeal.

They raised around £6,000 for the fund, which aims to pay for a new state-of-the-art operating theatre at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Rough conditions at sea meant the swimmers had to begin their challenge from the middle of the Solent.

But they emerged, tired and wet, at the other side just before 11am yesterday.

QA consultant Simon Toh, said: ‘It was tough, but we did it. Everyone made it and no-one drowned, at least.

‘We did it in a relay where each of us swam for 20 minutes at a time and then someone else took over.

‘We had boats following along with us to help if we needed it.

‘It was tricky but very enjoyable and we all had a good day raising money for the appeal.’

The swim is one of several fundraising events which aims to help the Rocky Appeal reach its £3m target.

The money will fund a range of new space-age theatres at QA.

So far the appeal has raised around £1.5m which has paid for two theatres.

Another theatre is planned which will deal with bone problems such as fractures and repairs.

Rocky Appeal co-ordinator Mick Lyons said: ‘We are hoping to have all the money we need by the end of the year.

‘This will be the first theatre of its kind in England. It’s important because people won’t have to have major surgery like they do now. It means less time in hospital, less chance of infection and a quicker recovery time.

‘About 5,000 people will benefit from it a year.’