Swimmer battles the Solent for mother

Portsmouth police warn of ‘fake friends’ targeting the disabled

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CHOPPY seas and stormy winds were no match for determined Deborah Herridge as she swam across the Solent in memory of her mother.

Photographer Deborah, of Lee-on-the-Solent, swam nearly eight miles from Ryde, on the Isle Of Wight, to Hill Head in order to raise money for two charities.

Deborah Herridge''Picture:'www.forceofnaturephotography.com

Deborah Herridge''Picture:'www.forceofnaturephotography.com

The 46-year-old was raising money for Canine Partners, a charity that provides disabled people with assistance dogs, and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, a charity that helped her mother June when she was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 50.

Speaking after her swim, Deborah said: ‘I had a huge amount of support from everyone.

‘The swim was also on my birthday.

‘I’m not a superstitious person, but I felt like it was meant to be and that there was some form of higher power watching over me as I was swimming.’

Deborah trained for six months and was coached by her husband, Robert, who was in the boat that was alongside her on the crossing.

Deborah was supported by more than 30 people who stood and watched as she completed the charity swim.

But it wasn’t just the humans who were grateful for the huge amount of money that Deborah had managed to raise.

Dogs from Canine Partners had also come along to watch her reach Hill Head shore, and one even jumped in and swam to meet her.

Throughout the swim, Deborah abided by the Channel Swimming Association rules, completing the swim in just her costume, cap and goggles, and endeavoured never to touch the safety boat throughout the swim.

Deborah said: ‘When I was swimming, I was thinking of my mum, all the other people that have had, or have breast cancer and all the many lives that Canine Partners have helped to enrich by providing their wonderful assistance dogs. I did this swim for all of those people.’

Deborah’s swim has raised more than £3,000. To donate go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DeborahHerridge