‘Sammy’ the seal joins six swimmers in arduous cross-lough challenge

Over £4,000 has been raised to date for charity after a team swim across Belfast Lough.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 27th July 2020, 3:34 pm
The charity swimmers supporting the NHS.
The charity swimmers supporting the NHS.

Kate Delaney, Judith McLaughlin, Matthew Wilson, Caolan McLaughlin, Johnny Stewart and Stephen McComb completed the arduous challenge in aid of the NHS and Sailability on Saturday.

The six swimmers also received support from a familiar face as they made their way across the lough from Grey Point, Co Down, to Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

Gary Davison, who helped to organise the fundraiser, said: “They were joined by Sammy the seal who often pops up next to the swimmers whilst training. Thankfully the wind had dropped from the previous day and stayed calm throughout the whole swim.

Entering the water at Grey Point, North Down.

“The swimmers reached the shipping lane and had to gain permission to cross the channel, unfortunately there was a large container vessel in the channel and the swimmers had to tread water for approximately twenty minutes to allow it to pass. Once permission to cross was granted they set off again. The swim across Belfast Lough from Grey Point to Carrickfergus Castle is a straight-line distance of 3.02 nautical miles, however considering the tide and open water swimming the distance ended up just over four nautical miles.

“The delay crossing the shipping lane had a knock-on effect which made the last short section to the castle difficult as not only were the swimmers tired, but they also not were swimming against the outgoing tide.”

Family and friends along with the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston (who did the swim last year), greeted the participants when they came ashore near the castle.

Gary added: “All six swimmers did a fantastic job in successfully completing the swim and it’s still possible to support the two chosen charities on their just giving page.”

'Sammy' the seal pops up to see the swimmers.



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