On Tuesday 12 July Professor Greg Whyte set off from Lechlade Lock on his world-record attempt to swim 125 miles of the Upper Thames in record-breaking time.

Greg, who has helped numerous celebrities complete what they believed to be the impossible with various charity events, took on his own gruelling endurance challenge to raise money for the Royal Life Saving Society UK and the RNLI.

Before the challenge began Greg said: “The key message for me, is this: one person drowns every 20 hours in the UK and water safety is central to reducing this figure. Unfortunately, only one in five children have received any formal water safety education. By tackling this enormous challenge, I am aiming to raise funds to support the RLSS UK and RNLI to improve water safety education and reduce the tragedy of drowning.”

Lock after lock along the route Greg powered through and even had to fend off a number of swans along the way. He was in the water for around 20 hours every day, covering an average of 30 miles daily and only getting approximately four hours of sleep daily. Along the way he was able to enjoy swimming with members of his family and swimming through his hometown of Marlow.

This was the first time that anyone had attempted to swim this stretch of British water as quickly as possible so Greg was looking to achieve something that had never been done before as both speed and endurance were combined for the challenge.

Through sheer grit and determination, Greg was determined to push through the pain but unfortunately on Friday (15) his medical team advised him that he needed to halt the challenge as they feared he had ruptured his bicep and would need a scan to reveal the full extent of his injury.

Greg issued a video on social media to explain, telling everyone he wanted to continue his challenge at some point and thanking everyone for their support, bringing it back to the very reason he was doing the challenge – to raise awareness of water safety and to prevent drownings.

Greg has worked with RLSS UK for a long time, supporting the vital water safety messages from the charity to prevent drownings. During the challenge, he continued to share the messaging and raise awareness of water safety whilst raising over £10,000 for RLSS UK and RNLI with donations still coming in.

Robert Gofton, CEO of RLSS UK said: “We are extremely grateful for Greg’s incredible efforts over the last week. Most of us would have not been able to complete day one of Greg’s challenge never mind reaching day four. We have been watching and cheering him on in awe as he swam mile after mile and although we understand that Greg will be disappointed not to complete the challenge, we know he will be back for the last leg after some recovery time. We are all so incredibly proud of him.

“We cannot thank Greg enough not only for his commitment to raising awareness of water safety over the years but also for raising such a fantastic amount of money for both us at RLSS UK and the RNLI. Congratulations Greg.”

Thank you, Greg, from everyone at RLSS UK, we wish you a speedy recovery – you really are a Great Whyte!

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