Lifeguard’s 36-hour swim raises £1,000

Dean in the swim
Dean in the swim

A LIFEGUARD swam non-stop for 36 hours in a swimming pool on Hastings beach to raise money for his club.

Dean Baker, 48, collected more than £1,000 towards a new rescue boat in which members of Hastings Voluntary Lifeguards are battling to raise cash for.

He swam against the current in an endless pool on the beach throughout Friday (August 5) until the next morning.

Mr Baker, who is also pool manager at Battle Abbey School, said: “It was quite tiring doing it for 36 hours and I became extremely cold during the night from around 1am to 9am.

“When I stopped I literally had no energy left. They (lifeguards) had to lift me out of the pool with a stretcher.”

The lifeguard, who has been volunteering with Hastings Voluntary Lifeguards on and off since 1974, said he was treated by team members for more than one-and-half hours.

Hastings Voluntary Lifeguards has so far raised around £20,000 towards the new boat but needs to get another £6,000.

Mr Baker said: “Hastings Voluntary Lifeguards are a fantastic team and I wouldn’t have done something like this without such a team. I trust them with my life. It was a brilliant event.”

The lifeguard, of Roundacres Way, Bexhill, spent the entire 36 hours in the endless pool, a 15ft-long tank with a torrent he was swimming against.

It is not the first time he has embarked on mammoth fundraising ventures.

He did a 21-mile swim across Lake Windermere in Cumbria in 2009 in order to raise money for his club, which has around 60 members. He has participated in many endurance events including the Marathon des Sables, a six-day race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco, both in 2004 and 2006. In 2006 he cycled and kayaked to Morocco before taking part in the gruelling race.

Di Cooke, spokesman for Hastings Voluntary Lifeguards, said: “Dean did a terrific effort over the 36 hours and it was only successful with the help of all the organisations who sponsored him, as well as the team.

“Dean had been training for this for 18 months.”