A PORTLAND MAN is braving the elements for a good cause by swimming 140 miles along the length of the River Wye.
Colin Stone, 50, from Weston, and his swimming partner Barbara Lewthwaite will swim 20 miles a day between the source of the River Wye in Plynlimon, Wales and its natural tidal limit in Bigsweir in the Wye Valley, between England and Wales.
Their challenge will raise money for the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford, which Mr Stone’s daughter Shani, 22, attends. The seven-day trip was originally planned for last year when the college celebrated its 140th anniversary but this was cancelled due to low river levels, so Colin is hoping to be more successful this time around.
He said: “Barbara called me on Sunday night and said “The weather’s good, let’s do it’.
“I trained well for last year’s attempt and was in good shape, but it’s too late to prepare this time so I’ll just have to do it. I am nervous but I’m quite active and really confident in the water because I’m used to swimming and snorkelling in the sea off Portland.”
“There are the obvious things to worry about like getting tired and cold, and then there are the Rhayader Falls rapids so you end up trying to avoid the rocks in the fast-flowing water more than thinking about anything else,” he added.
Colin explained his wish to give something back to the college in Herefordshire as it has had a life-changing impact on his daughter. Although Shani studied at mainstream schools she wasn’t confident enough to be able to go straight on to a local college and into employment.
“The college has made such a difference to her independence as well as helping her gain two A-levels.”
To support Mr Stone, text RWYE13 followed by £ and your chosen donation amount to JustGiving on 70070.