Olympic gold medallist Shirley Ann Robertson plunged into cold water at Portsmouth University for CNN report

Shirley Robertson with Prof Mike Tipton in the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth.''Picture: Christopher Ison
Shirley Robertson with Prof Mike Tipton in the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth.''Picture: Christopher Ison
Pupils from Queen's Inclosure Primary School in Waterlooville who have donated their shoes to children in Africa.  Pictured, from left:  Lily I'Bell (8), Scarlett Bugler (10), Lucia Aldred (9) and (front) Lily Bugler (5).  Picture: Sarah Standing (170967-5871)

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A DOUBLE Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster was plunged into a cold water immersion tank at the University of Portsmouth during filming for a monthly sailing show on international news channel CNN.

British sailor Shirley Ann Robertson OBE, pictured, visited the University’s Extreme Environment Laboratory to film for an episode of MainSail about survival at sea.

She was plunged into cold water at 12C to examine the physiological effects of cold water immersion on a person who has fallen overboard.

Shirley met scientists from the Department of Sport and Exercise Science and received advice from professor of human and applied physiology Mike Tipton, an expert on survival at sea.

She said: ‘The EEL is a great facility. It’s so wide-reaching – helping a variety of organisations, such as the RNLI, as well as the general public.’

The laboratory is equipped to assess human performance and survival in extreme environments.

Prof Tipton said: ‘It was fantastic to work with Shirley for her CNN show.

‘Our facilities and team are here to provide life-saving safety advice to as many people as possible and shows like Shirley’s are a great vehicle for getting the preventative, life-saving, medical advice out to the public.’

The programme will be broadcast today at 5.30pm and tomorrow at 10.30pm on CNN.