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Swimmers brave eight miles for murder victim’s son

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A punishing eight-mile swim in aid of the young son of murder victim Haile Outerbridge has been hailed as a success.

The North Rock Challenge by a team of seven men brought a throng of supporters to the beach at Fort St Catherine yesterday to await their return from far offshore.

Among them was Hazajae Outerbridge, aged nine, who hugged the first swimmers to arrive after four hours’ swimming from North Rock.

His mother, Fatima Swan, told

The Royal Gazette: “This was a lovely day, a lovely event. Haile deserves this. He was a good man. He was everybody’s father. Everywhere he went, he took care of everybody.”

Ms Swan said the funds raised from the swim would be put aside for her son’s college education.

“This is what love is all about,” added Marilyn Outerbridge, mother of Haile Outerbridge, who was brutally murdered in January alongside Ricco Furbert in a double shooting on Happy Valley Road, Pembroke.

Wiping her eyes, Ms Outerbridge said she was “eternally thankful” to the swimmers.

“I’m not here to represent Haile; I’m here to represent what Haile stood for,” she said, citing the family’s firm religious convictions.

Mike Cash, Paul DeGiulo, Stuart Joblin, Kevin Insley, John Tomlinson, Graham Smith and Nick Strong took to the sea shortly after 8am for the challenge, sponsored by

The Royal Gazette.

Organisers estimate the event has so far raised about $10,000 for Hazajae.

To applause and cheers, Mr Cash, Mr Insley and Mr Smith reached Achilles’ Bay first, shortly after noon.

“There wasn’t a really strong wind but we were swimming against it for the first three hours; that takes its toll physically after a while,” Mr Insley said.

“The last 45 minutes it was calm. Then it got hotter coming in.”

A flotilla of boats and kayaks kept watch over the swimmers, who had to time their challenge with care around the weekend’s unsettled weather — as well as the passage of a cruise ship.

Last to reach shore was Mr Tomlinson, who after five hours and forty minutes in the water confessed: “It was not easy.”

He expressed confidence the challenge could blossom into a yearly charity event.

“Others have said they’d probably be up for it.”

The group, which plans to throw a celebration for the swimmers and their support crew, is continuing to call for donations to help with Hazajae’s education.

l Readers can donate through premierticketsglobal.com/OpenTickets/612/Northrock-Foundation-Challenge.

Donations can also be made through the Bermuda Masters Swimming Association.

The association’s account details are: HSBC Bank Account 002-060481-001. Donors are asked to reference North Rock Challenge.

Marathon effort: Swimmers John Tomlinson, Nick Strong, Graham Smith, Stuart Joblin and Paul DeGiuilo swam from North Rock to Achilles Bay to raise funds for the son of murder victim Haile Outerbridge, nine-year-old Hazajae Outerbridge (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published July 29, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated July 29, 2013 at 12:15 am)

Swimmers brave eight miles for murder victim’s son

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