23 July 2024

Fundraising swimmer crosses the Humber

by Rebecca Hannant

A member of the Hornsea Dolphins has swum across the Humber in a bid to raise money for Humber Rescue.

Liz Parker took part in the frequently run Humber swims organised by Sarah and Frank Scholes. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the swims.

A representative of Humber Rescue said: “Participants swim distances ranging from 1.5km to 4km, depending on tidal conditions, with swim durations between 50 minutes and 1.5 hours. The event is a major fundraiser for Humber Rescue, a charity providing vital search and rescue services in the area.

“Swimmers are grouped based on their ability and are supported by rescue boats to ensure safety. The swim typically takes place during slack tide, when currents are at their weakest, although conditions can still be challenging due to the estuary’s strong tides and choppy waters.”

Liz said: “What they do is they wait for the tide to turn, like a slack tide, they take you out to the Barton side, and then you swim with the tide. You try to keep parallel with the Humber Bridge. We got on the boat and went out, and I remember thinking this bridge is further than I thought!

“The first part wasn’t too bad. You felt like you were just swimming like you normally would. “It was quite choppy in the centre, and then you could feel the tide turn a bit. So, the first part wasn’t choppy. The centre part was very choppy. And then the last part wasn’t too bad.”

During Liz’s training regime, she swam 22 miles, including a swim in aid of diabetes awareness. She was supported by her husband, who is a watchkeeper at NCI Filey, and the members of Hornsea Dolphins. Swimming regularly with the group also helped her to gain confidence to do the Humber swim, she said.

Liz added: “Once I got back, I could hear my husband on the slipway shouting, cheering my name and whooping.

“The rest of the Dolphins have been really encouraging. When I told them I was swimming, they decided to come along and support me, which was fantastic.”

Humber Rescue, an independent lifeboat charity, relies entirely on donations and volunteer efforts to operate. It provides crucial safety support during the swims and covers a large area of the estuary, which is known for its unpredictable and dangerous waters.