The World Heritage Site of St Kilda is the final destination for a hardy group who are aiming to swim there from the Isle of Harris in the first ever charity challenge of its kind.
The St Kilda Swim team aim to swim the distance of around 60 miles in a stretch of the North Atlantic Ocean that is renowned for rough seas and unpredictable currents.
To date, no one has ever attempted this swim before.
The swim, which is scheduled for June 28th to July 4th, is estimated to take around 50 hours, with a team of nine swimmers swimming relay-style, accompanied by three kayakers and support boat.
The St Kilda Swim is raising funds to support three charities: Yorkhill Children’s Charity (Glasgow); The Leanne Fund (Highlands and Islands), and The Fishermen’s Mission (UK national).
St Kilda is an archipelago in the remotest part of the British Isles, lying 41 miles (66kms) west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. Its islands, with their exceptional cliffs and sea stacs, form the most important seabird breeding station in North West Europe.
The evacuation of its native population in 1930 brought to a close an extraordinary story of survival.
Alan Mackenzie, VisitScotland Island Manager, said: “I would like to wish the whole team the best of luck in their summer challenge and what better sight to be heading for, than the beautiful location of St Kilda?
“Hopefully they will get the chance to experience this unique natural environment, with its amazing cliffs and seabird colonies at the end of their challenge”
He continued: “2014 is a great year for Scotland and we’re gearing up to create a welcome like no other.
“Although we are lucky enough to be hosting outstanding events such as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup on our shores, we must be pro-active, encouraging visitors to extend their trips here, and get out and about to discover literally every region – and island - from north to south, east to west.”
Many of The St Kilda Swim team were part of the very successful fundraising challenge ‘The Big Minch Swim,’ which took place in June 2012.
This saw the team swim from Ullapool in the north west of Scotland, to Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis – a distance of 50 miles open water, which they completed in 34 hours.
Almost £23,500 was raised for the RNLI through The Big Minch Swim and a Motion was even passed in the Scottish Parliament congratulating the team as the first people to ever swim that stretch of water.
For more information about The St Kilda Swim, please visit www.stkildaswim.co.uk