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Women overcomes water fear to kayak Britain

A graduate has kayaked the full length of Britain, becoming possibly the first woman to do so; a particularly impressive feat considering that she claims to have a fear of water

Emily Bell, a history of art graduate, supported Sean Conway as he took the title of being the first person to swim around Britain. Paddling her kayak alongside Conway through the length of his challenge, it also appears that Bell has broken a record.

It is yet to be confirmed if the 28-year-old has achieving this, having only taken on the job to help confront her water phobia.

Suffering from visions of the film poster from Jaws, and things that come out of the water, she said:

“When I saw Sean’s advert seeking a kayaker, I thought I would apply and try to finally conquer my phobia.

“I have a fear of living things popping up beside me. I know it’s ridiculous. I saw dolphins, porpoises and seals on this trip: it freaked me out. My head plays tricks. I think of the Jaws movie cover but I block it out and get on with it. That’s how I cope.”

Despite her fears however, the trip almost went without incident, except as she navigated her kayak round mainland Britain’s most north-westerly point. With waves rising up to 30 feet and a force nine gale blowing, Cape Wrath lived up to its name.

Northwest kayaking is not usually so severe but, sadly, Bell says that the Cape Wrath experience has left her still less than comfortable with being at sea.