Four swimmers undertook an epic challenge at the weekend in an attempt to try and 'Save Grange Lido.

The four friends, Ali, 50, Amy, 38, Catherine, 40, and Ian, 53, met whilst swimming at the Save Grange Lido weekly Wednesday night swim at Fell Foot.

The experienced swimmers set out to raise money to restore the open-air 50m sea-water swimming pool located on Thornfield Road - the only surviving seaside lido in the North West.

They chose the 21-mile English Channel from Dover to Calais known as the 'Everest of Swimming' to do it.

The Westmorland Gazette: (Left to right)  Catherine, Ali, Amy, Ian on the boatThe relay challenge began at 9.25am on Friday (September 15) with members swimming up to an hour each up to four and five times. Overall the team took 16 hours and 56 minutes arriving at France around 4am. 

Ian Bury, a senior manager at BAE said: "It was a brilliant experience full of highs and a few lows. There were sections of the channel that were pan flat, then choppy and then like a washing machine.

"We ended up swimming over double the length, 43 miles in total, due to the current taking us further way. Setting off from England, the weather was lovely however we were told there were stormy conditions on the way and that we'd have to push for the last stretch. 

The Westmorland Gazette: The English Channel at sunset

"We swam through shipping lanes which are basically a motorway through the channel. I doesn't look like it on the photos, but those tankers, car carriers and ferries are really close. 

"We each saw jellyfish however we didn't tell each other - I think the choppy waters at France pushed them away! 

"In the dark it can be quite daunting too, it's more a mental battle than a physical battle but we got through and we managed it.

Disaster almost struck for Ali whose goggles began to leak causing problems with her eyes. 

Her husband, Leighton, said: "Ali is a really strong swimmer however on the fourth leg it was dark it and she couldn't see.

"It was just at the point in an area known to many swimmers as 'the graveyard of dreams' because of its strong currents and some have to give up where they can't go the distance.

"She really had to dig deep but she did it for the team and support.

The Westmorland Gazette: Amy Favieres holding Save Grange Lido towel on the boat

Ian added: "As well as friends and family there, we had a Whatsapp group with 130 people sending messages of support and we are so grateful, they really were the strength in our strokes.

The four swimmers smashed their target of £4,000 and have to far raised £6,415. To donate to Save Grange Lido, visit the Just Giving page.