Raising money and breaking records!

PUBLISHED: 11:41 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 21:15 29 May 2010

From left: Lt Sue Gardner, Paul Cushing, Colin Osborne, Warren Brown, Roz Lunn, Mark Evans, Lt Com John Bainbridge, Myles Gascoyne and Lt Com Mike Leaney

From left: Lt Sue Gardner, Paul Cushing, Colin Osborne, Warren Brown, Roz Lunn, Mark Evans, Lt Com John Bainbridge, Myles Gascoyne and Lt Com Mike Leaney

Divers set a new world record last week, as the first relay team to swim the channel under water using scuba equipment. Seven swimmers braved the chilly waters for the Orchid cancer charity helped by a 20 strong support team including nurses and army pers

Divers set a new world record last week, as the first relay team to swim the channel under water using scuba equipment.

Seven swimmers braved the chilly waters for the Orchid cancer charity helped by a 20 strong support team including nurses and army personnel.

Warren Brown, 38 from Dunmow, was inspired to take part in the swim by his friend Colin Osborne, 44, who set up the Orchid cancer fund after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Mr Osborne was treated with a new drug Taxol which he could not get on the NHS and it was thanks to this new treatment that Mr Osborne went into remission. This experience spurred him to set up the Orchid fund and to raise millions of pounds to help others get the same life-saving treatment too.

The pair met when Mr Brown owned a diving shop in Gants Hill, Ilford and used to train diving instructors.

Mr Brown said: "I met Colin through diving at my diving shop. I trained him to become a diving instructor and we got on really well."

They then set about organising the channel swim together, and with the help of the other five swimmers, raised a staggering £50,000 for the charity.

Organiser Mr Osborne who is currently trying to get their record registered in the Guinness Book of World Records said: "We've had some set backs registering our swim as they told us they have over 50,000 record registration applications a year and that as our attempt was done in a relay team under water, ours would be a sub category not an existing one.

"So, although we have set the world record, we are still negotiating an official recording in the famous book."

It hasn't been all plain sailing for the team, who tried to do the challenge last year but were beaten back by bad weather, unable to even get out of Dover marina.

Mr Brown said: "This year we set aside a week to do it and even though the weather was good the wind turned and at first it was too windy to even get out. Saturday was predicted the best day from forecasts, so we got up at 3am and went to Dover marina to get the crafts ready and set off from the beach at 6am.

"We estimated from past training that it would take around 20 hours, however we actually managed to complete it in 11 hours and 55 minutes!"

"The most concerning factor was when we went past the shipping lane in the channel, there were huge tankers which the coast guards had to guide around us. It could have been very dangerous if we got under one of those."

The Orchid fund is now planning more events and although they are being kept under wraps for now, we have been promised some future "wild wacky swim events".

To donate to the Orchid fun call Colin Osborne on 07747034762 or email him at colin@orchid-cancer.or.uk

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