Vernon Monument
Vernon Monument Fund Target

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Divers’ Portsea Island Swim

In July 2011, Royal Navy Divers and Mine Warfare personnel along with Ella Hamza, 12 year old girl from Cystic Fibrosis Kids of Portsmouth, joined forces for a phenomenal charity swim around Portsea Island.

The aim was to raise funds for Project Vernon, a local charity, Cystic Fibrosis Kids of Portsmouth and the RN & RM Charity. On top of his busy day job, Lt Cdr Mick Beale RN not only trained for the event in the evenings but also researched previous swims, planned the route and timings taking environmental factors into account, and mustered a team of swimmers and safety numbers and then participated in the event himself.

Similarly, to help promote the event and raise more funds, Project Vernon and the Southern Diving Unit put together an impressive display and organised a prime location at Gunwharf Quays (with kind permission of Gunwharf Quays management). A band of volunteers manned the display all day and took advantage of the good weather. By pure coincidence (but Dixie Dean will tell a different story) a Royal Marine Band was on hand to play some favourite nautical tunes while we waited for the swimmers to reach Gunwharf Quays. On reaching Gunwharf the swimmers trod water for a while whilst the brave young Ella entered the water to swim the last leg from GWQ to Eastney Beach (5km!). All swimmers completed the entire 12 kilometres safely and without incident. The swim will go down in history as only the third time it has been successfully completed. An excellent result for the participants and the charities involved. The total sum raised was £1287 with £514 donated to Project Vernon.
Thank you all.

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