What it’s like to be an ice water swimmer

Kate Steels-Fryatt in action  Picture: Terry Scott
Kate Steels-Fryatt in action Picture: Terry Scott
Havant & Waterlooville Swimming Club's Chris Hunt at a Horizon Leisure Centre pool. 'Picture: Mick Young' PPP-160201-173651006

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Alexander Edge, nearest camera, begins his backstroke bid. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

GALLERY: Hampshire Swimming Championships

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A COUNCIL employee is hoping to become the first British woman to complete an international ice swimming challenge.

Hampshire County Council worker Kate Steels-Fryatt is over halfway through the ‘Ice 7’ challenge, which involves seven one-mile long swims in waters of five degrees Celsius or under, in seven continents, including one at zero degrees Celsius.

The 48-year-old has already completed four of her swims as part of the extreme challenge in Swanwick, Norway, Morroco and China.

Kate, from Bishop’s Waltham, said: ‘The swim in China was my one at zero degrees and the air temperature was -14C but with the wind chill it was more like -22C and was the toughest swim I have ever done.’

The swim was done in a lake of ice that had a five-lane swimming pool cut out of it using chainsaws.

Kate added: ‘Luckily the Russians I was with knew what they were doing and we had loads of medical staff around and once you got out there were hot towels to be put on your groin and under your armpits where the organs are close to the skin.’

Kate hopes to complete the challenge this year with swims in Canada and New Zealand planned within the next few months.

She said: ‘I really want to do the Canada swim in the next month.

‘But it is going to cost me about £1,000 so I am really looking for a company sponsor for the last bit of this challenge.

‘I would be happy to fundraise for a charity of their choice and give motivational speeches and even take people out cold water swimming as well.’

If you would like to sponsor Kate in her ‘Ice 7’ challenge, contact her on waterbabykate@gmail.com