YOUNG swimming fanatics were inspired by the memory of a teenager from Clacton to raise more than £700 to help save lives at sea.

Members of the Clacton Sharks, based at Clacton Leisure Centre, took part in a ‘Swim the Channel’ challenge, which saw its youth teams complete 21 miles in less than two hours.

The event raised £708 for Clacton RNLI.

Fiona Kennedy, chairman of the club presented a cheque to the volunteer crew at the swimming pool on Wednesday.

She said: “Our youth swimmers could see the importance of the work that our local RNLI station provides, but also wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of water.

“We wanted to help send a message that learning to swim, at any age, is a life skill and one that may prevent accidents in and around water.”

She said the tragic death of Clacton teenager Ben Quartermain, who drowned in the sea east of Clacton Pier in July 2018, was one of the key drivers for their fundraising.

David Wells, Clacton RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said “Their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication to this fundraising demonstrates to everyone what can be achieved.

“It is heart-warming to see the next generation dedicated to helping causes and raise awareness of the importance of the RNLI.”