A leading marathon swimmer from Sale has helped to provide advice for a wild swimming novel by drawing on her own experiences.

Vicky Middlemast, who is a sales director at Kellogg's, was approached by Devon journalist and novelist Jason Mann for help as he wrote his new book, Hidden Depths.

The book follows the story of a woman in Cornwall who uses her skills as a former competitive swimmer to secretly disappear and start a new life.

Consulting for the novel brought back memories for has conquered some of the UK’s toughest swims, including the English Channel and the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Messenger Newspapers: Vicky has taken on some of the biggest swimming challenges in the UKVicky has taken on some of the biggest swimming challenges in the UK (Image: Jason Mann)

One of the biggest challenges Vicky took on was to swim from the Isle of Scilly to Land's End in Cornwall in 2016.

After a 17-and-a-half hour long battle against the Atlantic winds and tides, as well as painful jellyfish stings to her arms and legs, she was forced to give up in darkness less than two miles from Land’s End.

Vicky said of the swim: "I wanted to take on the challenge of this swim partly because so few people had conquered it. And the Isles of Scilly have a mystical appeal within the open water swimming community. Stories abound of clear seas and sandy beaches.

"The strong currents made the swim particularly hard. At times, it felt like I was barely making any progress.

I was so lucky to have the support of my amazing crew on the boat that helped me keep going but after seventeen and a half hours I couldn’t push myself any further. I hope there will be lots more people in future that take on and conquer this epic swim."

Only three people have ever successfully swum solo from the Isle of Scilly to Cornwall, including Mark Richards in 2019, who also helped consult for Hidden Depths.

Jason, who writes as J. H. Mann, said: "Vicky is a tremendous swimmer, and I knew her memories of the Isles of Scilly to Cornwall swim would help me bring authenticity to a key part of my novel.

"I am hugely grateful to her and another long-distance swimmer - Mark Richards, from Cornwall - for their advice and support. Hidden Depths is, of course, fictional but many of their real-life swimming experiences are included."

Messenger Newspapers: Jason himself is a keen open water swimmerJason himself is a keen open water swimmer (Image: Jason Mann)

The novel is currently available in markets across the world on Amazon as an e-book and paperback.