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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea

ANDREA ACHIEVES TWO WORLD RECORDS IN CHANNEL SWIM!

26/07/2004

Andrea Gellan, the 47 year old mother of three from Dunfermline, has successfully completed the triple non-stop crossing of the English Channel in her bid to raise funds for the RNLI Lifeboats. Along with the 5 other participants, Andrea has also broken Two World Records in the process!

Andrea, who is also a Senior Lecturer at Falkirk College, said "Its Fantastic! I am over the moon that we have managed to break not just one record, but two! It was a gruelling challenge and we are all exhausted, but extremely elated that we have achieved the goal that we have worked so long and so hard to achieve. I have been training around 8 times a week in order to attempt the crossing and it has all been worth it. I am hoping by achieving this record breaking swim, that I will raise as much funds for RNLI Lifeboats as I can, as my friend is on the crew of Kinghorn Lifeboat and I know of the good work carried out by them."

"We started at 3am on Friday morning, which meant we were tired to start with, and were starting in the coldest, darkest, part of the night so that dampened our enthusiasm slightly. But we managed to keep going through it all and beat our first record by completing the double crossing in 19 hours and seven minutes, which was almost an hour quicker than the previous record, and by finally completing three crossings we have become the first womens team to ever manage it."

Andrea completed the triple-relay swim along with 5 other women. She admits to being the eldest of the group, with the youngest in their 20's and they are the first ladies team to manage to complete the three crossings. A second record was also broken when the team completed two crossings in under 20 hours, under Channel Swimming Association rules.

The three crossings were completed between Dover and Calais and took one and a half days to complete. The total distance covered was 70 miles, so each swimmer completed an eleven and a half mile swim during this period. Each swimmer took to the water for an hour at a time with a five hour rest, before they had to do it all again.

The temperature of the water in the Channel at this time of year is a cool 14 degrees C. and as it is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, the safety crew had their hands full looking out for everyone, especially during the night.

Charlie Tulloch, Kinghorn Lifeboats Operations Manager said, "Andrea phoned me last night around 9pm to say that she and the team had broken two records during the crossing attempt. It is just wonderful news that they have managed to complete such a marathon swim and become record holders in the process, not just once, but twice over. Andrea was understandably tired but overwhelmed with her achievement and was going to bed, leaving the celebrations until today!"

"She is an inspiration to others. Working, being a mum and breaking world records. I can't thank her enough for choosing the RNLI Lifeboats as the recipient charity for any money she raises. Although she has raised around £500 so far, which is enough to equip one lifeboatman with a lifejacket, I'm sure now that she has reached her goal that others may think that she deserves to raise more money from her efforts than that."

So far Andrea is hoping to raise at least £1000 for the Lifeboats, but hopes her achievement will bring in more for such a good cause. At the current rate it costs

£17 A pair of gloves for a lifeboat crewmember
£28 A personal flare pack
£38 A pair of crewmember's boots
£88 A thermal suit
£176 A safety helmet
£500 A lifejacket for our all-weather lifeboat crew

Anyone wishing to donate to Andrea can contact her by e-mail on andreagellan@hotmail.com or by contacting The Scottish RNLI Fundraising Office on 01738 642999, by Fax on 01738 642998, by e-mail on scotland@rnli.org.uk or write to them at RNLI, Unit 3, Ruthvenfield Grove, Inveralmond Industrial Estate, Perth PH1 3GL mentioning Andrea Gellan's name.