Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Adventurers' ice bath challenge across Solent abandoned

When two adventurers attempted to cross the Solent on a bath made of ice, they knew time was limited before it melted.

But what friends Neil Laughton and Jon Beswick did not realise was just how little time they had, as the bath survived a matter of minutes in the water and far less than the estimated three to five hours.

Before the attempting the paddle from Alverstoke, Hampshire, to the Isle of Wight on Sunday, Mr Laughton, founder of the Great Sussex Bath Race, told the BBC : "I think nobody has been foolish enough to try this endeavour before, to make a bath purely out of ice.

"There are lots of challenges today, not least of which the bath needs to be solid and frozen."

He added: "We have 5km to paddle across a busy shipping lane.

"It is going to be a race against time."

But the duo were unable to paddle far from the shore before the bath disintegrated and they were towed back to the shore, with the remainder of the bath, by one of their support boats

The sea temperature was 14C and the top temperature recorded for the day in that area was about 18C.

Mr Laughton said: "The ice bath did not survive long in the water - it required more freezing time.

"It was a big disappointment, but we are not experts and it was a bit of fun."

They made the bath by creating a mould using wood and lined it with plastic before filling it with water and shredded paper.

It was then put in an industrial freezer for two days.

Image copyright Third Revolution Media 2014

They abandoned the challenge and took up another as they paddled across the Solent in a different, solid, bath in four hours and 10 minutes, supported by a crew of 20 people.

Mr Laughton said: "We have proven that you can paddle across the Solent in a bath."

The attempt was organised to raise awareness of the Great Sussex Bath Race on June 22, which raises money for two Sussex charities, Lifecentre and Chestnut Tree House children's hospice.

Image copyright Third Revolution Media 2014

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