A swim, a run, a paddle and a pedal for Tyneside diver's fund raising marathon

Merchant Navy diver and volunteer member of South Shields life brigade completes extreme endurance feat

George Jewitt about to start the kayak leg of his coastal marathon
George Jewitt about to start the kayak leg of his coastal marathon

Deep sea diver George Jewitt went overboard when he decided to take the plunge for two charities.

George is one of the newest members of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.

In between his full-time job as a deep sea saturation diver he decided to help raise funds for the brigade and the NSPCC.

He set himself the challenge of swimming from the South Pier in South Shields to Sunderland, then running back to South Shields.

Next would be the return leg to Sunderland by canoe and cycling back again seven miles to South Shields.

For the swim leg, which was the hardest test, he was accompanied by fellow canoeist Brian Abdullah and members of the brigade kept watch and supported him along his coastal route during the swim, the run, the paddle and the pedal.

During his swim extreme cold forced him to leave the water at Whitburn Ranges after four hours and five-and-a-half miles.

“I was shaking with the cold and my legs were starting to cramp up,” said 38-year-old George.

But after a short rest he changed into his running kit and ran back to the South Pier where after another change into a wet suit he took to the water again in his canoe.

“After the swim and run I was glad to give my legs a rest as I canoed back to Sunderland and made good time,” he said.

“The final bike ride back home was quite pleasant but I was really tired after nearly 10 hours of extreme effort.

George, who works offshore raised almost £1,000.

Tom Fennelly, honorary secretary of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, said: “George is one of our newer members and given the nature of his job means that he cannot always be here to support our various fund-raising events, so it was extremely thoughtful of him to undertake this one-man challenging effort on behalf of the two charities.”

George, of Berkeley Street, South Shields, said: “I work at sea and my three children like visiting the beach so I wanted to do some fund raising for the brigade.

“Because of my work offshore I only had a few days when I got home to prepare.”

During his 10 years as a Royal Navy clearance diver, George ran 162 miles in four days from Tyneside to the naval base at Faslane in Scotland to raise funds for the NSPCC.


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