Ross Edgley Breaks Record For Longest Swim in Loch Ness With 49 Mile Outing

It wasn’t too long ago we were all hypothesizing about whether Michael Phelps could swim 100 miles in the ocean. On September 21st, British adventurer Ross Edgley dove into Loch Ness–just outside of Inverness, Scotland–hoping to swim 100 miles (160 km) in the loch. That would have set a world record for longest distance swum in tideless water.

He ultimately fell short of his goal, stopping at 49 miles (79 km). However, that swim still sets a record for the longest open water swim in Loch Ness. Wearing a wetsuit, Edgley swam continuously for 52 hours and 39 minutes without touching land or boat, continuing through temperatures that got as low as 41 degrees Fahrenheit. He also endured rain and winds up to 20 knots and called the swim the “biggest challenge of his career physically and mentally.”

The 36-year-old Edgley took on the swim to raise awareness for sea kelp conservation in Scotland, with support from Skye whisky distillery Talisker and Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit environmental organization. In 2018, he became the first person to swim 1,780 miles around Great Britain, but because of his philanthropical drive, this swim “wasn’t just about records.”

He took on a grueling training regime to prepare for the swim, training for 12 hours a day in open water around the Isle of Skye, and eating 10,000 calories a day to help his body stay insulated from the cold.

Though Edgley fell short of a world record here, he’s already in the Guinness Book of World Records after completing a rope climb the equivalent of Everest’s height in 19 hours back in 2016.

Based on his Twitter account, Edgley seems to be recovering from the demanding swim in the hospital. He said he “would update later properly but wanted to publish a HUGE post of gratitude to everyone.”

The swim is in the process of ratification by the British Long Distance Swimming Association. He was wearing a wetsuit, which sometimes impacts whether or not the record is ratified.

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2 months ago

Man that sounds miserable, I can barely stand it when the water is less than 80 degrees

2 months ago

Great achievement in its own right. Wearing a wet suit does make a difference so it should be noted.

2 months ago

More like Loch Ness Rossnster

2 months ago

I’m trying to figure out if this picture is horrifying or will this appeal to the climb Everest demogrqphic? Probably both.

Beginner Swimmer at 25
2 months ago

Isn’t he afraid he could be chewed up by the Lock ness Monster?

2 months ago

I will however take note that swim records in wetsuits and nonwetsuits are different.

2 months ago

There’s no way this swim will be ratified. It’s already been denounced by the Marathon Swim Federation. Wetsuits disqualify any ratified swim, not to mention thermal cap and gloves. He also failed to provide GPS tracking, which is required for any record attempt. Even the mileage he claims is wrong. If he ended at Fort Augustus, that means he only swam 2 lengths, which is 73K, not 79K. That would leave him tied with a ratified swim from the 1980s done without wetsuit. The swim in the 80s was done in 23 hours, with independent observers to verify the claim.

Reply to  Michael
1 month ago

While I generally respect Ross for his various endurance efforts over the years, his claims often seem to be quite fishy to me and not exactly reliable all the time.

A few months back he posted a youtube training video of him doing something like 100X100 meter sprints from a dive (just off the deck) with wetsuit in a 50 meter pool. He was claiming to have held SUB 1 MINUTE on EVERY ONE, while taking only about a minute or so of rest between them. Oh yeah and he was doing open turns. Of course the video didn’t show any full lengths of the repeats or any way to verify his claim of the times he held.

I called… Read more »

The unoriginal Tim
2 months ago

Swimming at less than a mile an hour and getting out at less than half the target distance. Why is this impressive?

DCC Parent
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
2 months ago

I’m impressed he stayed awake for 52 hours. I can barely keep my eyes open past 10:30 pm…

The Original Tim
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
2 months ago

Winds at 20 knots, along with the presumably corresponding choppy water, are no joke.

When I was a teenager I went on a canoeing expedition in Canada and we’d often go swimming in the lakes around our campsites. We had a storm blow in out of nowhere one day while we were swimming and had heavy rain, wind around 20-25 knots, and 2-3 ft waves as a result. It took me nearly 15 minutes to swim the ~500 yards into shore from where we were, and that was with me being in peak swimming shape. The other guys who were not as good swimmers took even longer to get into shore.

If this dude was swimming in similar conditions, I… Read more »

Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
2 months ago

Well he did the best he could – that is reason enough for any journalist to make note. You do not have to rub in his face that he failed miserably.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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