Woman swims 20km to raise money for Rescue Helicopters

November 11, 2016

Woman swims 20km to raise money for Rescue Helicopters

Jillian Walker is planning to complete her third 20km swim this Thursday. Supplied: Jillian Walker

A keen swimmer is braving the cold water between Waiheke Island and Auckland in just her togs to help raise $20,000 for the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Jillian Walker and a group of 11 others will swim the 20km stretch of sea on Thursday, March 21.

The swimmers chose to tackle the route, from Matiatia Beach to Mechanics Bay, because there is no hospital on Waiheke and 22 per cent of the organisation’s missions are calls out to the island.

The dozen friends, including three women and nine men, have raised $18,000 and are only $2000 away from their target.

Mrs Walker, 39, a swim instructor based in Auckland, said her friends have needed to be rescued by the service in the past.

“I’ve got some friends who have found themselves in situations where they’ve had to actually call the chopper.”

Mrs Walker said she also supports the cause because her children may need their assistance in the future.

“I’ve got two young boys who are extremely active so chances of them getting up to mischief in New Zealand are pretty likely.”

Mrs Walker has completed two 20km swims in the past. Her most recent event in February took her 6 hours and 20 minutes to finish.

Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust communications adviser, Kerrie Spicer, said if the group reaches their target they’ll help fund three missions.

“We’re just delighted and really grateful for them coming up with this initiative,” said Miss Spicer.

Trust event manager, Nathan Turley, said the charity is extremely grateful for the group’s effort.

“It’s a big one for us. We don’t do a lot of events that raise up to $20,000,” said Mr Turley.

If you would like to fund Jillian and her group, find more information on their Everyday Hero page.

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