Athlone women’s marathon swim raises €11k for Lough Ree RNLI

Local open water swimmers, Serena Friel and Karen Reynolds, presented Lough Ree RNLI with a cheque for €11,300 on Thursday last following a fundraising swim on the lake last month.

Throughout this year the women, who have been swimming regularly at Coosan Point, admired the progress on the new boathouse for the RNLI which is under construction on the lake shore. When they heard of an initiative to raise a local community contribution of €100,000 for the facility they decided to lend their support.

Under the careful eye of their coach David Warby from Athlone Regional Sports Centre they set about the task of training to swim the length of Lough Ree, a challenging 32km from Lanesboro Bridge on the Longford/Roscommon border to the Town Bridge in Athlone. They completed the task last month in a record time of 10 hours 13 minutes.

On Thursday last, Serena and Karen visited the Lough Ree RNLI facility at Coosan Point and presented Treasurer Vincent Rafter with a cheque for €11,300, more than 10 percent of the overall target.

At the presentation, Serena Friel thanked everyone who had supported them in the ‘Lough Ree Challenge’ especially: “Midland Print, Cantwell Corporate Finance, the staff of Athlone Mail Centre and clients of Serena’s Hair Studio.

Karen Reynolds thanked “everyone who had contributed to the fund and especially logistics co-ordinator Carmel Hughes and Catriona Cantwell for social media”.

Accepting the generous contribution, Lough Ree RNLI Treasurer Vincent Rafter said: “Both women have made an invaluable contribution to the charity and to water safety on the lake and River Shannon”.

So far this year, Lough Ree RNLI has responded to 42 call-outs to people and vessels in difficulty on the water.

This week Lough Ree RNLI also received a generous contribution to the fund of €1,500 from RBK Chartered Accountants.

The station has a local bank account where all donations, large or small, are welcome: Loughree RNLI Boathouse Appeal – BIC: AIBKIE2D IBAN: IE80AIBK93226458090098.