Dad swims in memory of daughter

THE FATHER of a young Misterton woman who was killed in a tragic road accident is pulling on his wet suit for a 10km charity swim in her memory.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 24th August 2012, 3:30 pm

Kevin Dunne’s daughter Hayleigh, 23, had been driving along the A161 Haxey Road near Misterton on 17th December 2010 when her Mini Cooper left the road and hit a tree.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I am attempting to raise £500 for the charity Brake, one of the first calls I made for assistance after Hayleigh died,” said Kevin, 55.

“Brake is a charity that exists for one simple reason - because every 30 seconds someone somewhere in the world is killed or seriously injured in a road crash.”

“Brake in the UK campaigns to stop the carnage, supporting victims and their families.”

On Saturday 22nd September, Kevin will take on the 10km River Dart Open Water Swim in Devon, supported by six friends.

Kevin said: “My swimming mission is twofold - raising money for Brake and swimming in memory of my much loved and beautiful daughter, who I miss so very much.”

“Hayleigh herself was a very keen competitive swimmer and it was a sport she really loved.”

Hayleigh swam with a number of local swimming clubs and was a former captain of the South Axholme Sharks, swimming at Epworth Pool and competing at West Lindsey Leisure Centre in Gainsborough.

Kevin coached her when she was younger. His training for the 10k Dart - the aquatic equivalent to a marathon - now sees him swimming an hour most mornings at Gainsborough pool and also training at Whisby Lake, Lincoln, and Tyram Lake, Doncaster.

“Ten kilometres is about 398 lengths of a 25 metre pool at your local leisure centre,” said Kevin.

“But there will be no black lines to follow in the river, so a technique called ‘sighting’ is vital to stop you going off course.”

“Wet suits are compulsory because without them, the majority of the swimmers would suffer hypothermia in the anticipated water temperature of 12-15 degrees.”

The River Dart rises in Dartmoor in Devon and winds its way over the moors to the sea at Dartmouth.

Kevin will join the river at Totnes, swimming 10km down the estuary and finishing at the small waterside village of Dittisham.

He wants to complete the course in under two and a half hours, but still hopes to have time to take in the scenery.

Said Kevin: “It’s a beautiful swim in brackish water, flanked by rolling Devon hills the whole way, with the estuary’s curious mix of sea and freshwater, bladder rack and oak leaves, oyster catchers and kingfishers.”

To sponsor Kevin, visit his donation page at

Find out more about the Dart 10k at and the charity Brake at