A Catterick Garrison woman has become the first British deaf female to swim the English Channel.
Verity Green completed the challenge on Monday — despite jellyfish stings and a rogue Russian Naval boat!
The 40-year-old advanced physiotherapist, who works for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, took on the swim to raise money and awareness for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
So far, she has already raised more than £6,000.
Verity completed the swim in 12 hours and nine minutes — well below the average time of 13 hours 31 minutes.
She said it was a difficult swim with choppy conditions and large numbers of jellyfish to contend with
She added: “I had to face a huge variety of jellyfish and some stings. I tried try to avoid any more as I didn’t know what the cumulative effect would be
“Feeds had to be quick as the tide and currents would push me back, and I had to eat without touching the boat, which would mean disqualification from the official observer on the boat.
“I was very pleased with the time considering the lack of training with the pools shut and being restricted with non-wetsuit open water training in Catterick Garrison, in a global pandemic.”
Verity said she had might have gone faster than the 12 hours had she not had to wait for a Russian Naval boat to pass.
“It was hidden off the radar and not responding to radio from the pilot.
“They suddenly appeared speeding along the first shipping channel.
“The speed meant we had to wait for the waves from their ship to dissipate too.”
Following the successful crossing, Verity returned to land and celebrated back in Dover before she returns to Catterick Garrison today to see her current and retired hearing dogs.
“Before leaving I visited the Dover pub which allows successful channel swimmers to write their names on the wall.
“Due to being the first deaf British female swimmer to make the crossing, the owner, former paratrooper Jeffrey Flowers, let me sign my name right above the bar.
“Our fundraising target has been raised but people are still sharing and donating.
“The money is all gratefully received since it costs £40,000 to train and support a partnership between a hearing dog and a deaf recipient for life.”
To donate to the appeal, click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hearingdogschannelswim