Norwich mum rows channel for lifeboat charity

Sam EmanuelFour adventurers from Norfolk will be crossing the channel in kayaks in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for a lifesaving charity.Sam Emanuel

Four adventurers from Norfolk will be crossing the Channel in kayaks in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for a lifesaving charity.

Norwich kayak coaches Shaun Dean, 47, Simon Allen, 30 and Oliver Quinton, 27, will be joined by mother-of-one Claire O'Hara, 34, for the seven-hour trip designed to raise money for the RNLI.

Mrs O'Hara, who lives in Magpie Road in the north of the city and has a seven-year-old son called Carlton, may have only been kayaking since July last year but her lack of experience is being made up for by her enthusiasm, as the trip from Dover and Cap Gris Nez was her idea.

She said: "All of the members of the RNLI are volunteers who literally save lives while putting their own lives at risk. I wanted to raise awareness of all that the RNLI do, for without the charity there would be undoubtedly many more deaths at sea.

"The RNLI doesn't just help big ships in bad weather, but is often called to help regular beach users. It is easy for even very experienced sailors, windsurfers, swimmers, kite surfers or kayakers to get caught out."

The group, which also includes Shaun Dean, a bridge engineer from Attleborough, Simon Allen, an environmental scientist from Newton Flotman and Oliver Quinton, a pensions technician from Norwich, are all members of the Eagle Canoe Club in Helford Street, off Heigham Street, Norwich.

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Richard Smith, a spokesman for the RNLI, said: "The charity is delighted with the support from these four intrepid kayakers. They are showing great commitment and determination in being fit enough to undertake this endurance feat, and it will be a huge achievement for them to cross the Channel."

The quartet has booked a pilot boat from June 18 to 25 and is now looking forward to training off the Norfolk coast. They estimate it could take up to seven hours to cover the 22.1 nautical miles.

� For more details about the kayakers, visit and to sponsor them, visit