THE sister of a man who died after having a heart attack in a pool has thanked organisers of an event in his honour.
Jacqui Hay’s brother Chris Hunt collapsed after a training session at Horizon Leisure Centre, in Waterlooville. He was 44.
Friends set up The Chris Hunt Memorial Channel Challenge, which has been held at the centre every year since his death in 2007.
More than 100 swimmers took part in the fifth annual butterfly stroke relay race, which sees participants try to swim the distance to France and back and then back to France again.
Though they missed out on achieving the feat by six miles on the last leg, the team of eight to 65-year-olds managed to raise £501 for The British Heart Foundation.
Jacqui, 47, of Bedhampton, said: ‘The event is a really lovely tribute to Chris.
‘It’s lovely that people gather from all around the country to take part.
‘There’s a lot of camaraderie and it’s amazing to hear all the stories that people say about him.
‘It’s amazing that it keeps going each year. I commend the people who make it all happen.
‘Chris was a lovely bloke. There wasn’t a bad bone in his body. I was close to Chris, I saw him pretty much every day. We used to have dinner together a lot at our mum’s house.
‘We still talk about him every day.’
Following Mr Hunt’s death a bench was put up at Beachlands on Hayling Island in his memory.
Mr Hunt, who was a member of Havant and Waterlooville Swimming Club, used to swim regularly in the sea off Hayling Island as he trained for sea races, which included swimming from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.
In August this year further tributes will be made by swimmers when they race up and down Hayling seafront and have a barbecue on the shore.