Royal Navy trio swim across the Solent for Gosport charity

WAVES Swimmers attempt Solent crossing raising money for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation
WAVES Swimmers attempt Solent crossing raising money for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation
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Three air engineers based at the Royal Navy Base at HMS Sultan took to the water to raise money for charity.

Lieutenant Mike Harris, chief petty officer Ben Glenton and PO James ‘Langers’ Langley joined 21 other swimmers in attempting to cross the four-and-a-half mile stretch of water which separates Stokes Bay, Gosport and Ryde, Ise of Wight.

The trio were raising money for The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation, which over the last 10 years has provided care and welfare support for children with life threatening or terminal illnesses and their families.

The engineers managed to raise £750 towards the Gosport charity’s annual £20,000 running costs of its static caravan.

Lieutenant Harris said: ‘It was a real privilege for us to be able to show our support for The Oakley Waterman Foundation.

‘Doing the swim turned out to be a really good event for the three of us.’

The group were accompanied by kayakers and one of the Gosport Ferries
which acted as a safety boat, where families and friends could also support their loved one throughout.

All three Navy swimmers persevered to complete the distance in two-and-a-half hours.

‘It was very hard work and some of the swimmers were unable to complete the distance,’ added Lieutenant Harris.

‘However, myself, James and Ben, although absolutely exhausted, were exhilarated to have actually managed to complete the challenge.’

Weather conditions were far from ideal, as high winds and rough seas combined to make the crossing difficult and around the one-mile mark, the effects started to really take their toll on the group.

With sea sickness affecting the majority of the group, several of those taking part found the discomfort too hard to bear and had to withdraw from the challenge.

The trio were praised by their students at the Defence College of Technical Training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School.

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