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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Andrea Gellan, the 47 year old mother of three from Dunfermline, who along with 5 other participants, successfully completed a triple non-stop crossing of the English Channel in July, breaking Two World Records in the process, called into the RNLI lifeboat station at Kinghorn on Saturday (20/11/04) and handed over a cheque for £1168 which was the amount she raised for the RNLI lifeboats with her fantastic efforts.

Andrea, who is also a Senior Lecturer at Falkirk College said of her record breaking swim ' It was a gruelling challenge and we were all exhausted, but extremely elated that we achieved the goal that we worked so long and so hard to achieve, but it doesn't end there! I am now considering a challenge of trying to swim Loch Ness three times in a row, a single attempt at the Channel crossing and also trying to swim across Lake Windermere, which as well as breaking records will allow me to raise even more funds.'

By completing the double crossing of the Channel in 19 hours and seven minutes which was almost an hour quicker than the previous record and by finally completing three crossings, Andrea and her team have become the first women's team to ever manage it.

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 was 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, RNLI lifeboat Launching Operations Manager at Kinghorn said, '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 the £1168 which she managed to raise during her magnificent swim.'

'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

So Andrea has come close to fully equipping two crew of the RNLI lifeboat at KInghorn, and as we in Scotland are totally funded by voluntary contributions, this helps ensure that we are here to save lives throughout the year. Kinghorn have been called out over 40 times so far this year alone.'