EIGHT adventurers are taking on a challenge they believe has never been done before: swimming between the four islands in the Forth off North Berwick.

The Salty Selkies plan to swim the 11-kilometre distance of what they have dubbed the ‘Four Island Challenge’ in just six hours this Saturday.

Should the swim be delayed by bad weather, it will take place in two weeks’ time.

The swimmers are raising money for the Laura Hyde Foundation, a charity that provides mental health support for the emergency services.

The experienced swimmers are Meg Maitland, Jo Hood, Jeremy Milne, Bronwyn Macaskill, Norma Loudin and Claire Gardner from North Berwick, Linda Malcolm from Tranent, and Jo Lindsay from Tyninghame.

On the day, they will make their way to Bass Rock by boat and start the swim from there at 11am, aiming to be finished by 5pm.

They will swim west to Craigleith, then past the Lamb and then to Fidra, where they will finish and either make their way to shore by boat or swim south to the beach at Yellowcraig, depending on the tides.

Some of the group will swim the whole distance and others only part of it.

To swim between all of the islands and reach land before the tide turned against them, the group worked out they needed to complete the distance in just six hours.

They will be joined by two boats and four kayaks, which will provide support, water and food.

Linda, who used to work at Joe Forte Sports in Haddington, is in charge of the training schedule, as she is a former swimming teacher.

Training has involved sea swimming over a range of distances four days a week for the past eight months.

The rest of the team are no strangers to what lies ahead. Meg is a veteran sea swimmer who swam the English Channel in a relay team; Jo Hood swam every day last year; Jeremy is a North Berwick Swimming Club coach and a former British-level triathlete; Jo Lindsay is a keen writer who swims in her spare time; Bronwyn teaches yoga to teenagers and also enjoys swimming in her spare time; Norma is a nurse who uses swimming to calm her mind; and Claire is head of content for a hotel marketing company and a sea swimming enthusiast.

The challenge is part of a UK-wide event called the ‘We Remember Them 2021’ virtual relay held by the Laura Hyde Foundation.

Claire said: “It is something we’ve been planning for a while.

“We’ve been training since January and had a lot of meetings and looked at tide times in preparation.

“We all started swimming during lockdown as a socially distanced thing to do and started a WhatsApp swimming group chat.

“We swam from Bass Rock to Milsey Bay last September and Jo (Hood) suggested that we do something even crazier the next year and then we tied it in with the Laura Hyde Foundation challenge and its fundraiser.

“Training is going really well. The whole group is really excited. We really hope that the swim can go ahead on the date we want it to.”

The group has raised nearly £3,000 of its £5,000 target. To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/saltyselkies