800 swimmers got into the river Avon at Aveton Gifford and swam down to Bantham Beach to be greeted by hot chocolate, warm towels and hearty applause.

The Bantham Swoosh is an important event for many people.

It’s the second year it has been run by Level Water: a charity that raises money for one-to-one swimming lessons for children with disabilities.

Many swimmers bought a charity place – a discounted ticket that comes with a fundraising target. Those amazing fundraising swimmers raised £170,000 between them.

With one swimming lesson costing £15, this is the equivalent of over 11,000 lessons. Lessons that give disabled children the chance to fall in love with the water. Lessons that simply wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for the Bantham Swoosh.

As the swimmers gathered in Aveton Gifford, you could feel the excitement brewing.

The local primary school was selling tea, coffee and cakes while people shared stories of their past adventures.

Swimmers with disabilities got into the river first, at 10.30am, with volunteers taking responsibility for prosthetic limbs and crutches to be returned at the finish line.

Then the rest followed, swimming 6km surrounded by the most stunning views of the south Devon countryside.

Some swimmers knew the route well but for some it was their first time noting the landmarks along the way.

First, the river widens into a sandy channel with a clear view of the seashells below, later it narrows and picks up speed (the ‘Swoosh’ that gives the event its name) as finally they see the iconic pink boathouse at Jenkin’s Quay before getting their feet onto Bantham’s sandy shore.

Water safety teams were strategically positioned on boats and paddle boards along the way, giving assistance to any swimmers who needed it.

The wind danced across the waves at the finish - adding drama to the journey.

The tide gives you superhuman strength as you barrel towards the finish line.

Volunteers were positioned to help people out of the water and safely back onto dry land where they were given hot chocolate, a Bantham Swoosh commemorative towel and a big hug.

Cold swimmers huddled in the warm-up tent until they could feel their toes once more.

A new feature of the event this year was a guided walk, run by the Ramblers Association.

To keep traffic off the roads and to give spectators an epic adventure of their own, 150 people walked from Aveton Gifford to Bantham Beach.

The route meandered through fields and woodlands with occasional views of the swimmers.