Brenda Fisher, BEM (born 9 June 1927 - 2 August 2022 at the age of 95) was a 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 Highlights
- In 1956, she won the 47 km River Nile Swim in Egypt, then at the fastest time.
- In September 1956, she competed in the 51 km Lake Ontario crossing from Niagara, USA to Toronto, Canada finishing in 18 hours 50 minutes, 2 hours 6 minutes faster than the previous record set by Marilyn Bell. At that point, she was the third person in history to complete the swim.
- In 1957, she attempted to cross Lake Ontario, but retired after 12 hours 43 minutes due to a thunderstorm which threatened to sink her escort boats.
- After retiring, she became a swimming teacher in Grimsby.
- In 2015, her biography was published, Blonde In Deep Water written by Lucy Wood.
- In June 2018, she appeared on Antiques Roadshow with her collection of swimming memorabilia.
- She received in 2018 the British Empire Medal (BEM), as part of the Queen's New Year Honours list, for her achievements in the sport of swimming.
- A blue plaque in her honor was erected in Grimsby in 2017.
- She was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in the Class of 2023.
- 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. A crowd of 60,000 people turned out to welcome her back upon her return to Grimsby.
- She finished 3rd 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 competed in the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy in 1959.
- In 2016, she received the Freedom of the Borough Honor.
- 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
Blonde In Deep Water
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
- Brenda Fisher Will Be Inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
- Edna Borenstein In The Channel
- Binge Watching Swimming Over The Last Century
- Amazing life of Grimsby's record-breaking Channel swimmer recorded in new book
- Lucy Wood Author
- Blonde In Deep Water article
- Blonde In Deep Water
- Daily Mail and Billy Butlin Cross Channel Swims
- People Who Changed The World Of Open Water Swimming
- Greta Andersen Smiling Brightly Over The Years
- Øresundssvømning Pioneer Sally Bauer
- Channel Swimming Association
- Televised Broadcast of 1957 Race
- Jason Zirganos Circumnavigation Clarified
- Kevin Murphy Versus The North Channel In His Own Words
- Myra Thompson Swam Much More
- The Evolutionary Digitalization Of Open Water Swimming
- Daniel Eulogio Carpio Massioti's Eventful Life
- English Channel Races Of The 1970s
- One Of The All-Time Greats Writes His Memoirs
- Racing Across The English Channel In The 1970s, 1980s
- The 1951 Daily Mail Race Across The English Channel
- Brenda Fisher Wins Nile Swim 1956
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming
- Blonde In Deep Water, Brenda Fischer