Six complete oar-some fundraising challenge

The kayakers ahead of their challenge at Loch Ness.
The kayakers ahead of their challenge at Loch Ness.
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Six friends have completed an oar-inspiring challenge to thank staff who saved one of their lives.

Steve Reed, 47, was unexpectedly taken ill in July 2013 and after a short illness went on to need life lifesaving surgery on the cardiac unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

The weather was cold and wet for most of the trip and when we finished we all agreed it was one of the most physically demanding things we have ever done

Andy Graham

Now after completing his rehab, he was joined by five friends to complete a sponsored 100k kayak in the lochs of Scotland, starting in Corpach before taking in Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness, finishing four days later at the sea loch near Inverness.

Close friend Andy Graham, from North Shields, said: “This certainly was a challenge. The weather was cold and wet for most of the trip and when we finished we all agreed it was one of the most physically demanding things we have ever done.”

So far, they have raised more than £1,000 with more donations via www.justgiving.com/CaledonianCanalCanoeChallengeSteveReed/

Andy added: “We camped at various points along the loch sides and covered 96 km in total including some considerable walks carrying the kayaks for what is called ‘portage’.

“We were nervous about Loch Ness given its 26 miles and 800ft depth.

“It has a reputation for being unpredictable and in fact two kayakers were airlifted out on Saturday.

“We tackled around 20 miles of it on Sunday and had some trouble when one of the party capsized as we were pushed offshore by the wind and were hit by 4ft waves.

“We were very glad to complete the trip and are proud that we have supported our great friend in this way and raised so much for a worthy charity that means a lot to him.”