WATCH: Heather Clatworthy begin mammoth swim

In the swim: Heather Clatworthy.

In the swim: Heather Clatworthy.

A Portstewart woman today began a lifelong dream to swim from Donegal to Portstewart.

A small crowd gathered to wish Heather Clatworthy well as she takes on the 13 mile challenge - the equivalent of at least 900 lengths of Coleraine’s 25 metre pool- to raise funds for the RNLI and the Portstewart Outdoor Recreation Fund.

The mother of two said: “Since I was a little girl growing up in Portstewart, sitting on the strand beach, twiddling the sand between my toes, I have looked across the sea to Donegal and wanted to swim to the other side.

“The idea became a possibility when I read about a girl who had swam it in 1929 called Mercedez Gleitze.

“Now at the age of 33, I have decided that it’s now or never, and I plan to attempt the swim.”

“The swim will officially be observed and recorded by the Irish Long Distance Association (ILDSA) and I have a team there for me along the way.”