Lifeguards' charity swim

LIFEGUARDS from the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston area are to take part in the first-ever British Gas “Great East Swim” on September 26 in aid of the RNLI.

LIFEGUARDS from the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston area are to take part in the first-ever British Gas “Great East Swim” on September 26 in aid of the RNLI.

Lifeguards Chris Jeffery and Rory Abel are to participate in a one-mile open water swim at Alton Water, just south of Ipswich- and are calling on the public for their support.

The RNLI has ten places left and each place costs �30. Each participant needs to raise a minimum of �150 in sponsorship. The charity hopes to raise �6,000 from the event.

Rachel Clarke, RNLI Events Manager, said: 'The Great East swim is going to be a spectacular sporting event and a first for swimming, so we hope to encourage the public to take part and at the same time support the RNLI charity. Our lifeguards are taking part and it is a great opportunity for the public to swim with them.'

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RNLI lifeguard Chris Jeffery, 29, was recently involved in a dramatic rescue of a swimmer stuck on a rock ledge for many hours while out on exchange in New Zealand.

He said: “We have to train constantly to maintain our fitness levels as lifeguards - as the RNLI requires us to swim 400 metres in seven and a half minutes. So we hope to be able to put our training to good use in the Great East Swim.'

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Chris also saved a man's life back in July, while working as a lifeguard on Gorleston beach.

Due to offshore winds a man was carried out to sea while on an inflatable. If Chris had not spotted him struggling the man would not be alive today.

Rory, 19, is from Gorleston and is studying law at the University of Leicester.

Last month Rory rescued a six-year-old boy off Gorleston beach who had gone out on a body board. The boy had managed to get caught in a rip current, near the breakwater. His body board had slipped out from underneath him and his head was underwater. Rory saw the boy struggling and swam out fully clothed to rescue him. Thanks to his quick action he saved his life.

The event starts at 9am with groups of approximately 200 swimmers entering the water and a 30-minute interval between each group.

Entrants need to be able to complete a mile's swim confidently before taking part in this event. It is recommended that participants wear a wetsuit for the event to provide extra buoyancy, warmth and help them swim faster.

Anyone interested in applying for the Great East Swim should contact Rachel Clarke on 01473 822837 or e-mail

Chris has so far raised �400. To sponsor him visit

To sponsor Rory, visit

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