A BRAVE young Bromsgrove girl swam through the dark murky waters of Loch Ness in her ongoing quest to raise funds for Cure Parkinsons and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Isla Leckie, 11, raised £711 for swimming a mile across the mysterious waters the loch last Thursday (July 28).
The money raised will go towards a fund-raising campaign she began with her friend Maggie Aveyard for the two charities.
Her mum Nicole told the Standard: “We had planned for her to swim the day before, but high winds made the waters far too choppy and dangerous.”
Nicole said the water was just six to ten degrees Celsius and joked that Isla was ‘not remotely concerned about the Loch Ness monster.’
She added: “But when she had her practice acclimatisation swim, she said the water was so black but there was definitely fish and eels around.
“At one point she went up the length of the Loch Ness instead of the width by accident. Maybe it was because she saw Nessie? Apparently when you are in the water, it’s difficult to get a sense of direction because all you can see is water.”
Nicole said Isla was appropriately dressed in a wetsuit and even wore wetsuit socks which made her flippers too small so they had to duck tape her feet into a larger pair.
Nicole added: “The water is completely black because of the peat and it is 754 feet deep, holding 263,000million cubic feet of water.
“My brother-in-law brought his speed boat so she was safe.”
According to long-distance swimmer Tammy Van Wisse who set the speed record for swimming the length of the Loch Ness in 1999, it was one of the scariest swims of her life.
Isla and Maggie have been on a mission to raise money for the two causes since June. Thanks to their joint fundraising efforts, the girls have now raised £2,321, with £575 donated by South Bromsgrove High School and £400 by North Bromsgrove High School.
Maggie will up the total on August 22 when she climbs the Edinburgh International Climbing Wall – the largest in the world at 25metres high.