Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) is £8,500 better off after its annual Kern Knotts fundraising weekend.

The sum was boosted by the first ever full length swim of Wast Water, underwater! Sellafield divers Charles Potter and Rob Watkins completed the challenge in just over five hours. The marathon dive contributed £2,500 to the team’s coffers.

Members of the MRT joined West Cumbria Dive Club as support team during the swim in England’s deepest lake. The pair swam the 3½ miles without surfacing and carried all their own air during the underwater excursion.

Charles said: “We wanted to be completely self-sufficient, although we did send our empty cylinders up to the surface to be collected.  A lot of planning went into the dive, from training sessions with the support divers to practice communications, making sure that the surface boat and the divers stayed in contact. It was a real team effort and this is what ultimately made it so successful.”

Julian Carradice of Wasdale MRT said: “We intend to use the money to buy essential medical equipment, including a new Propaq machine, which will enable us to keep a check on the health of casualties during rescues. We are very grateful not only to the divers, but also to everyone who supported the event.

“As a charitable organisation we rely greatly on fundraising and donations. Our area includes a number of popular peaks, including England’s highest, Scafell Pike, so we are kept busy.”

An auction during the fundraising weekend raised £5,300; Pay Pal donations brought in £1,000 and Trail readers' bidding for a weekend with the team drew £315. The Lingmell Dash fell race held on the Saturday contributed £156.