ISLE of Wight adventurer Bear Grylls has given his backing to a group of swimmers with a strong family connection, who aim to swim The Solent for charity this afternoon (Friday).
Lady Sally Grylls, from Bembridge, will be cheering on her son, Bear’s nephew, ten-year-old Rohan Ford-Robinson, niece Emma Myrtle and five other adults as they take the plunge from Ryde to Southsea.
The swim will be done in aid of the Louis Dundas Palliative Care Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital, with the hope of the Londoners raising up to £8,000.
The swim hinges on whether the weather and conditions on The Solent are favourable. It will be the team’s second try after choppy Solent conditions last year scuppered any attempt to swim it.
Safety boats are being provided by Mike Samuelson, of Bembridge Sailing Club, with each swimmer backed by a kayaker.
Best-selling Island author, adventurer and survivalist, Bear Grylls, tweeted Emma to wish her, Rohan and the rest of the team well and lent his paddle board for the use of the safety support team.
Emma said: "Swimming The Solent will be a challenge for a good cause and I know the Island well, so I thought it was something we should do. However, the whole thing hinges on the weather conditions. It should take about two hours or so to complete."
The swim is due to start from Ryde Pier Head at 12.30pm.