SOME of The Big Minch Swim team celebrated the New Year with a quick dip at their training grounds, Coll Beach, Lewis, on Tuesday, January 1st.
In June 2012, eight swimmers, accompanied by three kaykers and Murdani Macdonald with Island Cruising support boat the ‘Cuma’, became the first people ever to swim from Ullapool to Stornoway.
During the 34 hour crossing the Team bumped into a massive Minkie whale, swam with dolphins and seals, as well as a pod of six Orca killer whales!
And successfully completing the 52 miles route, the Team has raised over £20,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Swim Team Leader Saul Hindson said: “I am immensely proud of each and everyone in the Big Minch Swim Team for what we achieved over those 34 hours and after – to have raised over £20,000 for the RNLI was way beyond our expectations, our target was £5,000!
“It’s brilliant and we just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us and donated to our crazy adventure for such a worthy cause.”
The magnificent relay effort was recorded in Scotland’s history books following a motion in Scottish Parliament.
It was also undertaken in the year that Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat Station celebrated its 125th anniversary and the brand new Leverburgh RNLI Lifeboat Station was opened in Harris.
The RNLI charity relies solely on donations and legacies to fund its vital work – and thanks to public generosity over 140,000 people owe their lives to the lifeboat crew and lifeguards having been saved at sea by the RNLI since its establishment in 1824.
The funds raised by The Big Minch Swim Team are enough to fully kit out 17 volunteer all-weather lifeboat crew, or to train 16 RNLI crew, or fund 57 crew life-jackets, or pay for 2,501 pairs of gloves!
And you can still donate to The Big Minch Swim through the JustGiving webpage which will stay open until the end of January – www.justgiving.com/thebigminchswim