A SCIENCE teacher will be swimming 11 miles of river currents from West Mersea Island to Maldon this weekend.

Richard Marshall, 41, is a science teacher from Maldon, and will be swimming from Nass Beacon on West Mersea to Maldon Quay to raise money for the National Royal Orthopedic Hospital and the RNLI.

Mr Marshall, who teaches at Bromfords School in Wickford, will be joined by several other swimmers plus a safety escort on the day.

After being laid up for several months following ankle surgery in October last year, Mr Marshall wanted to set himself a challenge to help return to fitness.

He has been training hard in the pool as well as the Blackwater and Crouch Rivers.

On his fundraising page, Mr Marshall said: “I had my right ankle fused October 31 due to deterioration of the joint. I have been seeing specialists for pretty much all my life and ended up being referred to The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore about a year ago.

“Before the operation I would try to raise money for charities close to my heart either through friends’ personal experiences or my own connections.

“My last challenge before Christmas tested me in a wheelchair, which was tough, but this new challenge is a big one. I love swimming and a few years ago whilst having a conversation at a bar in a sailing club, it was suggested that we could swim the length of the River Blackwater.

“I didn't get to complete this before the operation so I decided I would set myself the goal to help with the rehabilitation process.

“The swim is about 11 miles over ground. I am hoping to do it in about 3.5 hours.

He added: “The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital staff have been simply amazing and supportive since my referral was first made, and they continue to be excellent post op.

“The research and pioneering work that the hospital works on will change people's lives and although they are NHS, additional funds will help.”

Mr Marshall aims to raise £800, having raised more than £500 so far.

To donate, visit https://bit.ly/2u3jedW.