A 67-year-old paraplegic woman has battled the elements to swim the length of Loch Ness.
Rosalinda Hardiman, from Portsmouth, was left paralysed from the waist down after being diagnosed with Polio when she was six.
She became a Paralympic athlete representing Britain at the Atlanta and Sydney Paralympic Games in 1996 and 2000 and successfully swam the English Channel in 2009 in 20 hours 17 minutes.
And now, Ms Hardiman has battled through harsh temperatures to achieve her latest feat, crossing the 23-mile loch from Fort Augustus to Lochend Beach in 20 hours and 10 minutes.
Kevin Murphy, 70, operator of The Kings Swimmers, was on board the trailing boat watching her complete the popular challenge. He said the elements posed a real challenge just yards from the finishing line.
He said: “It was fairly dramatic at the finish because there has been so much rain, the water was washing in. It was like a river running out of Loch Ness into the canal and it was a bit of a struggle for here to get to the beach and actually finish the swim. It made life interesting for a few minutes.
“The thing about the swim is the temperature of the water. The temperature of the water ranged between 13 at the start and just under 14.7 at the end and the air temperature was absolutely brutal; especially at night. We finished about 1am or 2am in the morning.
“Having watched her swim, I really don’t know how she did that in 20 hours in that temperature. She was absolutely and totally exhausted by the time she had finished.”
Mr Murphy is only too aware of the challenges faced by endurance swimmers along the route, having previously the completed the feat in 1976 in just 10 hours 30 minutes.
He added: “The highlight was seeing the struggle and seeing her going way, way beyond what the human body should be able to do and to achieve and conquer it. Conquer all the infirmities and frailties and do it and that is inspirational to watch it.”