A Tayside woman has told how she battled against low temperatures, jellyfish, and crippling fatigue to become the first person to swim one of the UK’s toughest channels.
Colleen Blair, from Birkhill in Angus, swam the gruelling North Minch crossing, which runs 25 miles from Orinsay on the Isle of Lewis to Rubha Reidh on the mainland.
Wearing just a normal swimming costume — as opposed to a wetsuit — she completed the crossing in 18 hours and 46 minutes in temperatures as low as 9C.
The 40-year-old’s swimming partner Colin Macleod had to be rescued and airlifted to hospital after he was separated from his support boat due to fast-changing conditions.
Another swimmer taking part, Norman Todd, abandoned his attempt after losing sight of his swimming partner.
The fact Colleen had no wetsuit meant she was exposed to the notorious lion’s mane jellyfish and suffered a number of stings.
Colleen, who now lives in Aberfeldy, said: “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
“The sea was filled with jellyfish from start to finish.
“It has taken time to sink in that I managed to do it. I’m just glad I finished it.”
Colleen has so far raised £650 for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.