The third Tyne River Swim this year is set to see thirty swimmers take on a course stretching from Newcastle Quayside to Littlehaven beach in South Shields. This event, which is backed by the Port of Tyne, will be taking place at the same time as the Great North Run in which tens of thousands of people are participating in. For the swimmers, it is all for a good cause in the name of charity. They are hoping to raise £5,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

“The Tyne River Swim is unique, and we’ve got open swimmers from all over the country to enter this year. Training is essential, as it’s the aquatic equivalent of a marathon. The weather on the day will also be critical, but we do have the help of the river current. We are very grateful for the support we’ve been given. Without the Port of Tyne, this simply couldn’t happen. South Shields Sailing Club has also been a great champion, and everyone taking part is really up for the challenge,” stated Tony Greener of North Shields, who is the event director.

The swim will commence at 1pm and it is estimated that the participants will take approximately three hours to reach Littlehaven beach. “The Tyne River Swim is becoming something of an iconic event, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. Everyone entering is an experienced open-water swimmer, and we’ve had to work closely with the organisers to ensure the race was carefully planned as it enters one of the UK’s busiest commercial shipping channels. I wish everyone taking part the very best of luck,” said Mike Nicholson, the Port of Tyne’s harbourmaster.

Although the swimmers are considered to be experienced, safety measures still have to be put in place due to the unpredictability of the open waters. The Collingwood, which is the port’s pilot boat, will follow the swimmers and act as a  floating control centre. The boat will be leading two other safety boats as well as 12 kayaks. For the past two years, a total of £15,000 have been raised for the charity by the sponsored swim. This year, the event organisers are looking to raise at least £5,000. For more of the story, you can read it from here.

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