On the 29 January 2018, Becky Horsbrugh will attempt to be the first British person to swim the Bangla Channel in the Bay of Bengal, a 16km (10 mile) sea route from Teknaf to the Saint Martin’s Island, in southern Bangladesh.
“I am doing this swim to raise awareness of the huge issue of drowning in the country,” says Becky. “Around 50 children a day die in the water in Bangladesh and drowning is the leading cause of death among children aged 1-17 years old. In the UK there are around five child deaths a year from drowning.”
Becky wrote about her trip to Bangladesh to teach children to swim in the September issue of Outdoor Swimmer magazine. Up to 68 per cent of the country can be flooded during the monsoon season and many drownings occur inland. Most rural homes have an adjacent pond which is used for bathing and fishing. But these natural water bodies are a death trap for young children who haven’t been taught how to swim. Likewise, people living on the coast have to navigate the dangers of the ocean as they go about their daily lives and earn a living.
The RNLI has been working in conjunction with the CIPRB (Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh) to develop the SwimSafe scheme and also give guidance and training for lifeguards in coastal areas.
“By doing my swim I hope to raise as much money as possible for the CIPRB which has set up swim schemes in the country to help keep children safe around water,” says Becky. “I am truly grateful for any donations, however small. If the money raised saves even one life then doing the swim and all my training will be worth it.”
Support Becky’s swim at: https://www.gofundme.com/my-ba…