Cromer carnival queen’s channel swim bid

Cromer's carnival queen is set to take part in a gruelling cross channel swim.

Last August Lucy Hyam was wearing a tiara and sash as she rode a wave of excitement as Cromer's carnival queen.

Next August she will be smothered in goose fat taking part in a charity relay swim across the English Channel.

But the 20-year-old is taking the tough task in her stride, as a fit beach lifeguard whose taste of adventure has seen her do a fund-raising bungee jump in the past.

Lucy, a swimming instructor at Cromer High School will be in her fourth season as an RNLI lifeguard next summer - which involves training to swim 200m and back to carry out a rescue.

While visiting a friend at Plymouth University she joined the training session of a five-strong team who will be swimming the channel in aid of the domestic violence charity Refuge.

'Then two of them got jobs in Dubai, so I got a call to see if I wanted to take part,' she explained.

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So as well as her routine lifeguard training she is now stepping up her technique and stamina for the epic 21-mile channel crossing which will see her do a handful of 1-1.5 mile stints in a journey that will take up to 20 hours.

'It will be totally different because of the currents, tides, wind and waves,' said Lucy, a former pupil at the school where she now teaches.

Pool work will see her working towards covering two miles at a time, and aiming to take part in the mile-long Great East swim at Ipswich in the spring as a warm up.

Lucy, who is also a fully-qualified athletics coach with the North Norfolk Beach Runners, recently did a a half marathon length run in aid of the Movember prostate cancer charity, and has bungee jumped in Yorkshire for the RNLI lifeguards

The team aims to raise �3,000 for Refuge, which runs a natinoal helpline, safe houses and support for women and children suffering domestic violence.

Lucy's efforts include sponsorship pledges but also a Ladies Night with Body Shop demonstrations and quiz at Cromer Parish Hall on January 29, and swimathons at the school pool by staff and students on two Mondays in January.

To support Lucy's efforts contact her on 07789 956465 or visit the website www.justgiving.com/channelswimforrefuge. More information about the charity on www.refuge.org.uk