DIVING in and heading for Paris! That was the mission for dozens of swimmers as they made a splash with a mammoth charity swim which took them Tower to Tower.
And from sunset on Friday to sunrise on Saturday around 100 swimmers paddled and crawled their way across Palatine Leisure Centre’s pool in a bid to cover the 409 miles which separate the iconic Blackpool Tower with its Parisian counterpart, the Eiffel Tower.
The athletes, from Blackpool Aquatics Club, Blackpool Polar Bears Disability Swimming Club and the council’s Learn to Swim scheme, swam in shifts to cover the distance and raise hundreds of pounds for new aquatics club equipment.
Janice Whittle, aquatics club secretary, said: “We had about 100 people taking part from youngsters right through to the masters.
“The idea came about after we decided to have a sponsored event for the club so – although you can’t physically do it – we decided to swim Tower to Tower.”
The swimmers jumped in just after 6pm and completed the epic challenge at around 6.45am the following day.
In total, they covered 26,328 lengths of the South Shore pool, cheered on by friends and family through the night.
Mrs Whittle added: “The swimmers were absolutely on their knees by the end.
“They did it in shifts depending on age with the older ones swimming for two hours then having two hours off, and the younger ones swimming for an hour with two hours off - and then they tried to get some sleep.
“It was really good, and on the social side it brought everyone together – not just the adults but the children as well. It was very successful and it was for a good cause.”
The final fundraising total has not yet been calculated, but it’s hoped the venture may have raised around £2,000.
The cash will be used to buy new equipment for the club to help with land training and also to train the volunteers who help run it.