South Scotland

Blue Peter's Lindsey Russell abandons Irish Sea 'zorb' crossing

Lindsey Russell
Image caption The crossing was expected to take about 14 hours - the same time it takes to swim the distance

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell has abandoned her bid to cross the Irish Sea in a giant inflatable ball because of bad weather.

She had been attempting to "zorb" between Northern Ireland and southern Scotland to raise money for Sport Relief.

She left the beach at Donaghadee at 06:30 and had hoped to reach Portpatrick harbour in Galloway.

The Blue Peter team said she was safe and was now back on dry land.

It had been estimated it could take her up to 14 hours to cross the 20 miles (32km) of open water for the Wave Runner challenge.

A spokesperson for Sport Relief said: "Lindsey's Sport Relief challenge was always going to be incredibly hard and zorbing many miles across the Irish Channel is a huge achievement.

"Whilst we were, in the end, defeated by the weather, we're incredibly proud of Lindsey and her efforts.

"Blue Peter is all about giving it a go and getting stuck in which is exactly what she did today. We hope her amazing efforts have inspired lots of children around the UK to do their bit for Sport Relief."

She had managed to travel 17 nautical miles before the attempt was called off at 16:20 and she was taken onboard a support vessel.

Despite the disappointment, the presenter was greeted by a cheering crowd of wellwishers when she arrived in Portpatrick.

Image caption A large crowd of children turned out to greet Lindsey in Portpatrick

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