VIDEO: Davina McCall dragged to safety during Sport Relief challenge scare

VIDEO: Davina McCall dragged to safety during Sport Relief challenge scare

VIDEO: Davina McCall dragged to safety during Sport Relief challenge scare

DAVINA: 'Terrified' before the swim

DAVINA McCall making her way across the chilly waters of Windermere for Sport Relief

Davina arriving at The Low Wood.

.BRAVE SMILES: Davina before she entered the water at Pullwood, Ambleside

Davina being carried from the water.

First published in News
Last updated
The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

EXHAUSTED Davina McCall had to be carried from Lake Windermere after tackling a gruelling, chilling 1.5 mile swim - then two hours later clambered on a bike to continue her Sport Relief challenge.

The presenter's body was limp with her head lolling as she was pulled from the water after clinging on to her support team's kayak to complete her crossing.

Organisers of the seven-day challenge assured fans that McCall - who was crying and struggling to breathe during the swim - was in no danger as she made her way across the lake.

The presenter's pain and suffering was etched across her face as she had difficulty managing anything other than a doggy paddle and was unable to put her head in the water.

McCall, 46, said afterwards that she even hoped for divine intervention to get her through, admitting: "I got so desperate I looked up to God - if there was anyone up there I needed their help."

But she added that she did not feel unsafe as she crossed the 5C (41F) lake, which is 183ft (56 metres) deep, accompanied by her trainer Professor Greg Whyte.

Viewers saw her brave the water live on BBC1 this morning, sobbing and red-faced before even taking the plunge. And as her crossing went on she looked increasingly distressed and worn-out.

When she eventually reached her target, her flopping body was lifted from the water and carried to a nearby hotel as the charity's team warmed her up.

Minutes later she was seen smiling and about to get her hands around a mug of hot chocolate in a photograph posted on Twitter, with her core temperature on the way back up.

And before long she was on a bike for a 65-mile leg in her attempt to travel 500 miles under her own steam as she heads from Edinburgh to London by running, swimming and cycling.

She said of her lake crossing: "The moment I got in the water, my chest felt crushed - I couldn't do front crawl, I couldn't put my head under water, I couldn't breathe," McCall said.

"One thing Greg told me that was pulling me through was to think of the building ahead of us as a magnet, drawing us towards it.

"I kept trying to lift my arm to swim, trying to pull the crawl out of the bag, but I couldn't even get it up. I ended up doing doggy paddle.

"I imagined my sister holding me and pulling me through it. It was such a struggle, but I have such a great team around me, I couldn't have done it without them. Although I'm shattered I never felt unsafe, I'm in the best possible hands."

Prof Whyte said: "I was in the water throughout the whole swim to ensure Davina's safety. It was very tough and very cold, but I can reassure people that she was safe throughout and never in any real danger. I'm full of admiration for her determination to finish this swim and get back on her bike."

Within hours of setting off on Saturday morning her team was concerned she was exhibiting signs of hypothermia as she battled severe weather during a tough 130-mile stint in the saddle.

But after being examined she was cleared to continue with her journey, the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Davina - Beyond Breaking Point.

Yesterday she scaled Scafell Pike, where she again faced treacherous weather, trudging through snow and negotiating her way through the cold mist.

In previous years brave celebrities have put themselves through other draining pursuits for Sport Relief.

David Walliams picked up stomach bugs during his swim down the River Thames, as well as developing sores from his wetsuit, and two years ago John Bishop was left in agony amid worries about stress fractures as he did back-to-back marathon distance runs en route from Paris to London.

Comments (9)

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12:15pm Mon 10 Feb 14

greenbell says...

I wonder why this stupid woman is doing this challenge when the weather is so bad at the moment.
I wonder why this stupid woman is doing this challenge when the weather is so bad at the moment. greenbell
  • Score: -44

12:40pm Mon 10 Feb 14

maggieann2luke says...

People do strange things when raising money for charity and inevitably push themselves to the limit. I saw Davina at the Low Wood this morning and I certainly admire her courage and stamina. Good luck to her and I hope she completes her challenge.
People do strange things when raising money for charity and inevitably push themselves to the limit. I saw Davina at the Low Wood this morning and I certainly admire her courage and stamina. Good luck to her and I hope she completes her challenge. maggieann2luke
  • Score: 29

1:09pm Mon 10 Feb 14

magical trevor says...

Greenbelt....that has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever seen on this website....your comments are totally out of order. It's called charity.
Greenbelt....that has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever seen on this website....your comments are totally out of order. It's called charity. magical trevor
  • Score: 34

2:55pm Mon 10 Feb 14

redhairedgranny says...

Well done Davina. You've more guts than most of us. I hope you raise loads of money for Sports Relief
Well done Davina. You've more guts than most of us. I hope you raise loads of money for Sports Relief redhairedgranny
  • Score: 14

4:06pm Mon 10 Feb 14

MR P KENDAL says...

greenbell wrote:
I wonder why this stupid woman is doing this challenge when the weather is so bad at the moment.
your name should be brown belt for the cr+p you spout
[quote][p][bold]greenbell[/bold] wrote: I wonder why this stupid woman is doing this challenge when the weather is so bad at the moment.[/p][/quote]your name should be brown belt for the cr+p you spout MR P KENDAL
  • Score: 10

4:09pm Mon 10 Feb 14

churchy66 says...

You are better woman then I - Davina - you are doing an amazing challenge, at the worst time of the year, I hope you are able to raise lots of money for Sports Relief. I won't be putting my hand in my pocket though, all my money is actually going to those who have been affected by the floods in Somerset
You are better woman then I - Davina - you are doing an amazing challenge, at the worst time of the year, I hope you are able to raise lots of money for Sports Relief. I won't be putting my hand in my pocket though, all my money is actually going to those who have been affected by the floods in Somerset churchy66
  • Score: 6

8:49am Wed 12 Feb 14

Cragrat1 says...

Completely fed up with these Z list so called talentless celebrities doing these "challenges" in the name of charity, (self publicity more like). If they want to give some of their £ millions to charity, then good, but do it QUIETLY.
Just because it's for Charity does not make it news worthy.
Completely fed up with these Z list so called talentless celebrities doing these "challenges" in the name of charity, (self publicity more like). If they want to give some of their £ millions to charity, then good, but do it QUIETLY. Just because it's for Charity does not make it news worthy. Cragrat1
  • Score: -10

11:13am Thu 13 Feb 14

MR P KENDAL says...

Cragrat1 wrote:
Completely fed up with these Z list so called talentless celebrities doing these "challenges" in the name of charity, (self publicity more like). If they want to give some of their £ millions to charity, then good, but do it QUIETLY.
Just because it's for Charity does not make it news worthy.
why dont you get up off your lard **** and have a go yourself then
[quote][p][bold]Cragrat1[/bold] wrote: Completely fed up with these Z list so called talentless celebrities doing these "challenges" in the name of charity, (self publicity more like). If they want to give some of their £ millions to charity, then good, but do it QUIETLY. Just because it's for Charity does not make it news worthy.[/p][/quote]why dont you get up off your lard **** and have a go yourself then MR P KENDAL
  • Score: 5

10:16pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Cragrat1 says...

MR P KENDAL wrote:
Cragrat1 wrote:
Completely fed up with these Z list so called talentless celebrities doing these "challenges" in the name of charity, (self publicity more like). If they want to give some of their £ millions to charity, then good, but do it QUIETLY.
Just because it's for Charity does not make it news worthy.
why dont you get up off your lard **** and have a go yourself then
Oh how constructive Mr P Kendal. For your information I have had "a go" , but what I don't need is the oxygen of publicity to keep my ego inflated, and I certainly haven't wasted TV Licence Fee Payers money on a huge support team to do it. As one of those many millions who are forced to pay the BBC a Licence Fee I am entitled to comment on how that money is spent. If you have nothing really constructive to say then don't say anything.
[quote][p][bold]MR P KENDAL[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cragrat1[/bold] wrote: Completely fed up with these Z list so called talentless celebrities doing these "challenges" in the name of charity, (self publicity more like). If they want to give some of their £ millions to charity, then good, but do it QUIETLY. Just because it's for Charity does not make it news worthy.[/p][/quote]why dont you get up off your lard **** and have a go yourself then[/p][/quote]Oh how constructive Mr P Kendal. For your information I have had "a go" , but what I don't need is the oxygen of publicity to keep my ego inflated, and I certainly haven't wasted TV Licence Fee Payers money on a huge support team to do it. As one of those many millions who are forced to pay the BBC a Licence Fee I am entitled to comment on how that money is spent. If you have nothing really constructive to say then don't say anything. Cragrat1
  • Score: 2

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