Check out our new site at openwaterswimming.com

Brenda Fisher

From Openwaterpedia
Lucy Wood's Blonde In Deep Water about English Channel swimmer Brenda Fischer
Photo from the Sam Rockett collection shows the swimmers of the 1956 Butlin's International Cross-Channel Swimming Race including 1 Jack McClelland (32 from Belfast), 2 Jack Cloutier (24) Canada, 3 Dogan Sahin (25 from Turkey), 4 Ronald Tarr (19 from London), 5 Clarence Conza (33 from New Zealand), 6 Ian Tirrell (33 from South Africa), 7 Erik Martin (53 from Sweden), 8 Jenny James (28 from Wales), 9 Maria Meesters (17 from Holland), 10 Baptista Pereira (35 from Portugal), 11 Margaret Sweeney (26 from New Zealand), 12 Greta Anderson (29 from Denmark), 13 Elizabeth Wild (22 from New Zealand), 14 Florence Burdett (27 from America), 15 Diana Cleverley (22 from New Zealand), 16 Brenda Fisher (28 from Grimsby), 17 Thomas Park (32 from California), 18 Harold Bracewell (47 from Blackpool), 19 Edward (Ned) Barnie (59 from Scotland), 20 Arthur Rizzo (28 from Malta), 21 Mohammed El Soussi (28 from Syria), 22 Fredrick Oldman (40 from Huddersfield). 23 Mihir Zen (27 from India), 24 Alfredos Camarero (25 from Argentina). Toufic Bleik (25 from Lebanon), Kurt Feilen (30 from Germany), John Healey (29 from Ireland), and Edna Borenstein (19 from Israel) are not included in the photo

Brenda Fisher, BEM (born 1927) is a 91-year-old British open water swimmer from Scartho, North East Lincolnshire. She is the daughter of a Grimsby trawler skipper and learned to swim at the age of 9. She became a swimming coach after retiring.

Open Water Swimming Career[edit]

  • she was the first female finisher at the Billy Butlin Cross Channel International Swim across the English Channel in August 1951 from France to England, placing fifth overall in 12 hours 42 minutes and breaking the previous women's record of Florence Chadwick in 1950 of 13 hours 20 minutes as a 23-year-old who undertook the crossing in the memory of her brother Buster, an RAF pilot who had been shot down and killed in Germany during the Second World War.
  • she finished third overall and was the first women in the 1954 Billy Butlin Cross Channel International Swim in 14 hours 36 minutes across the English Channel
  • she won the 1956 29-mile (47 km) swimming marathon in the Nile River in Egypt.
  • she competed in the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy in 1959.
  • she raced 32 miles (51 km) across Lake Ontario from Niagara to Toronto in Canada completing the September 1956 swim in 18 hours 50 minutes that was 2 hours 6 minutes faster than the previous record set by Marilyn Bell. She was the third person in history to complete the crossing that she attempted again in 1957, but she abandoned the swim after 12 hours 43 minutes.
  • In 2016, she received the Freedom of the Borough Honor.
  • In 2018, she received a British Empire Medal (BEM).

Professional Career[edit]

  • she appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and became a pin-up girl for 7 Up lemonade
  • she became a swimming coach after her retirement and also worked for the Ross Group
  • together with Stanley Baker, she was one of the judges in the 1954 Prestatyn "Easy To Love" Bathing Beauty Contest

1951 Daily Mail Race[edit]

Blonde In Deep Water[edit]

Blonde In Deep Water is a biography of Fisher that was written by Lucy Wood and published in 2015. When wartime RAF pilot Buster was shot down and killed in Germany, Jessie Fisher, the first woman to swim River Humber, and Brenda Fisher vowed to swim the English Channel in his memory.

Brenda Fisher: One of our own[edit]


A documentary film, directed by Kurt Mussell called Brenda Fisher: One of our own was released in 2019

External links[edit]