Five Lewis swimmers who took the plunge at a Lake District swim event are celebrating funds raised for an island charity.

Swimmers Elspeth (Ep) Murphy, Laura O’Halloran, Alasdair Finlayson, Katia Pettlefort and Norma Macleod headed south on Saturday (August 31st) to swim the full length of Coniston Water.

The event was part of the Chillswim open water swimming movement, with 750 swimmers setting out in seven waves to swim the full 5.25miles of the famous lake.

Ep and her friends had intended to get into a training routine, but the demands of jobs and families meant their joint swims were cut back to just one swim, in Loch Suainebhal in Uig, which is only half the length of Coniston. Other training swims were at Reef, Coll and in the sports centre pool – but seldom together because of other commitments.

Ep had decided to dedicate her effort to her friend Linda Norgrove. She told “We all wanted to go anyway and were planning to swim together, but I decided that if I was going to swim I might as well raise money doing it, so I picked the Linda Norgrove Foundation as my charity. Linda was my friend. She had a big smile and a bigger heart and I was thinking of her while swimming this massive lake.

“The Coniston swim is a really big event. On the day the start was delayed for five hours because of the weather – it was really windy and it did get calmer by the afternoon. The wind was from the south so it wasn’t against us.”

Ep set as her fundraising target £500 and donations have now topped £590. You can add to the total in honour of the group’s efforts at

Picture shows the Lewis swimmers with a fellow swimmer during the weather delay on Saturday morning.