Royal Navy’s elite divers take the plunge in Portsmouth for cancer charity

The frogmen diving into Horsea Lake Picture: L(Phot) Sean Gascoigne
The frogmen diving into Horsea Lake Picture: L(Phot) Sean Gascoigne
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  • Team notches up a 100km swim and 400km run for Prostate Cancer UK
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NAVY divers in Portsmouth took the plunge in a gruelling six-hour physical challenge in and out of the water to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Some 43 frogmen from across the Fleet Diving Squadron leapt into Horsea Lake – their main training pool – from a 7.5m diving board, used their fins to propel them for 100 metres on the surface, then clambered out of the water, removed the fins and ran 400 metres.

The team of divers who took part in the challenge

The team of divers who took part in the challenge

And the elite team of fundraisers repeated it 25 times – 2,500m swimming in the water and the equivalent of a 10,000m run per diver – or 100km swim and 400km on foot in total.

Three circuits, as they are known, are a mainstay of training at the diving squadron’s headquarters near Port Solent.

‘It was less about raising money – although we’ll gladly take donations – the real aim was to raise awareness of prostate cancer,’ said Leading Diver Lewis ‘Soapy’ Watson.

‘Three circuits alone are gruelling. To do 25, that really was tough.’

Three circuits alone are gruelling. To do 25, that really was tough

Leading Diver Lewis ‘Soapy’ Watson

The team started their super-circuit challenge at 10am on Wednesday, with the average diver completing their individual dive-swim-run in about two hours.

The divers were aided by a strong support-team and put in an outstanding effort, completing 1060 circuits in 5 hours and 45 minutes, raising a total that currently stands at £1,120.

But the team is keen for more people to come forward and donate. To support Prostate Cancer UK, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/RN-Fleet-Diving-Squadron The challenge is the latest in a series of fundraisers by the frogmen.

In September last year, 14 members of the team tackled a full marathon underwater.

They spent more than 24 hours pulling a rigid inflatable boat across their one kilometre training lake – all while wearing their lead-lined boots, an air cylinder and a 17kg helmet.

The challenge was all in aid of the Portsmouth-based charity, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and raised £5,000 for the cause.

The team received praise from the military charity, which supports Royal Navy families and veterans especially those experiencing difficulty with child support, ill-health, old age or hard times.

For more info go to rnrmc.org.uk.