Rugby coach to swim Lune for Air Ambulance

Lune swimmer Jane Harrison (left) with her dad George Harrison (88) who will join her for the part of the swim at Kirkby Lonsdale, nutrionalist and sister Ruth Anderson and support crew John Anderson.
Lune swimmer Jane Harrison (left) with her dad George Harrison (88) who will join her for the part of the swim at Kirkby Lonsdale, nutrionalist and sister Ruth Anderson and support crew John Anderson.

A KIRKBY Lonsdale woman will attempt to swim the river Lune this summer to raise £10,000 for the North West Air Ambulance.

Jane Harrison, 60, is planning to swim from the river’s source at Tebay in Cumbria to its mouth at Sunderland Point, in a challenge that will see her cover a 50 mile distance over 19 days.

Jane, who is a coach at Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club, will begin the feat on Monday June 4 and aims to swim at least 2.5 miles a day.

If swimming the tough tides of the river was not going to be hard enough, Jane is hoping to “work” at the local communities she rests at each day in exchange for a bed for the night.

The loyal charity supporter is urging communities around the river to get behind the challenge – and help raise funds for a cause close to her heart.

Jane has secured a place to stay in return for work in Kirkby Lonsdale, Caton, Hornby and Over Kellet, but is looking for somewhere to rest in Lancaster on June 19.

She said: “The North West Air Ambulance has saved lots of our rugby players who’ve suffered broken bones and neck injuries – and there is no better way to repay their professionalism and kindness than to raise crucial funds for their service.

“I love swimming, and spent a lot of my childhood down by the river at Kirkby Lonsdale.

“I’ve been swimming and going to the gym each day to prepare for the challenge, and really can’t wait to get in the water.”

Lynda Brislin, chief executive of the North West Air Ambulance, said: “We are always thrilled to hear of the amazing and interesting things people do to raise funds for our service.

“As a charity, we need to raise over £4.2million each year to keep our air ambulances flying and saving lives.

“To hear that Jane has committed herself to such a difficult challenge to try and raise such an extraordinary amount is heart-warming, and we look forward to following her journey in the near future.”

Jane will swim from Skerton Weir to Glasson Dock on June 20, and should be swimming along St George’s Quay at around 1pm that day.

“It would be great to see people there cheering me on and showing some support,” she added.

Glasson Sailing Club are sending out some small boats to accompany Jane from Skerton Weir, and she will complete the final leg of the journey, from Glasson Dock to Sunderland Point, on June 21.

To sponsor Jane’s challenge, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/swimthelune, or to offer help, call Jane on 015242 22456.