Local teenagers share their experience crossing Robben Island for a good cause

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"We will be doing more fundraising in the future by doing other huge swims around the country." Photo: Supplied/ Nikki Voigt
"We will be doing more fundraising in the future by doing other huge swims around the country." Photo: Supplied/ Nikki Voigt

Local teens Savannah Voigt and Zack Water have always wanted to complete the long swim from Robben Island to Big Bay, also known as the Robben Island crossing. 

And on 23 August 2021 the junior lifeguards did just that. 

But for these two teenagers completing the swim was not the only goal as they also collected funds to help their friends at the Clifton Lifeguard Club, where Zack and Savannah usually train.

So far, these two teens have collected over R71 084,26 which will go to the club's Bursary Fund. 

Read: Local teenagers swim to Robben Island for lifeguards who lost their jobs due to Covid-19

Parent24 chatted to these brave teenagers about the day they completed their swim.

Leading to the swim, Zack says that his friends thought he was insane when he told them about doing the Robben Island crossing.

However, they "offered to help Savannah and I train and condition ourselves for the swim," he added.

The day of the swim, they started 07:23 from Robben Island.

"I was super excited and even more excited that I got to do it for an amazing cause! It was very important to do it in winter as the water is warmer because of less wind," shared Zack.

He also mentioned that winter was a perfect time for swimming since the new season will be starting soon, and that is where the bursary fund would be used the most.

Savannah explained that they assembled at the Oceana Power Boat Club first and then made their way towards Robben Island.

"Then we jumped off the boat, had to swim to the rocks on Robben Island to start the crossing from there and started our swim to Big Bay," added Savannah.

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During the Robben Island crossing. Photo: Supplied/ Nikki Voigt.

Savannah admits that she was scared at first. "Honestly, I was very scared myself of the deep ocean water, but I knew I had to do it. Once we started, it was not as bad as I had imagined it to be," said Savannah.

However, she says that her highlight was when she approached the finish, where she started seeing their friends and family waiting and cheering them on.

Also read: WATCH | Belgian-British teen hopes to become the younge

Savannah says that this swim is not the last one for them. "We will be doing more fundraising in the future by doing other huge swims around the country."

While Zack says that he would do the Robben Island swim again, but at an extreme level. "Doing the same fundraising event every year can get boring, so maybe next year Savannah and I will do the False bay crossing, which is 33km or the Llandudno to Clifton swim, which is around 11km or even the Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Big Bay swim which is around 19km," explained Zack.

He added, "I enjoyed the swim and the feeling of raising money for people who need it, and because of that, I would like to make it a yearly thing if Savannah is down to do it again."

Zack also offered some advice to young teenagers out there who have fears just like anybody else. He says, "Just start and try. Once you start something, your brain motivates you to do more and finish what you started."

"The book I am reading says, 'Just start, and the answer will eventually come to you,'" added Zack.

He ended by saying that "If you do not try, you have already failed. If you try and fail, you are back to where you were before, so there is nothing to lose in trying something."

"So try your best, and you can conquer anything, especially when you put your mind to it. Be brave!" added Savannah to Zack's advice.

Their families, friends and captain are super proud of these two, and we cannot wait to see them doing what they love and impact other people's lives in the process as they did with this fundraising.


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