A DAREDEVIL doctor has completed a swim of more than 20 miles in Loch Lomond - all to raise cash for a local hospice.

Dumbarton GP Fergus Maclean, 48, works at Levenside Medical Practice, but has been a lifelong swimmer.

Last weekend, Dr Maclean took the plunge in a bid to raise much needed funds for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, which regularly receives referrals from Levenside.

Setting out to swim 23 the miles around Loch Lomond, Fergus spent just a little bit more than nine hours in the water - the longest he had ever spent at one time.

He told the Reporter: "Living in Glasgow and working in Dumbarton, you have such a huge stretch of water there on your doorstep.

"It's a bit of an odyssey, it's a challenge that's right there for you.

"I'm a distance swimmer, although I've never done that much in terms of distance, so it was a good challenge for me.

"I thought it would be doable, with the right conditions and the right training but you're not really sure about it.

"On the other side of that, it was also a way to get an added little bit of publicity and funding for the hospice."

According to Fergus, the added pressure of a Just Giving page bursting with almost £2,500 worth of donations, was a boost whch helped him to push on.

He said: "When you're under the scrutiny of people from Just Giving and other places, it gives you an additional uplift to keep going."

Fergus was racking up 20km a week in the pool in the run up to the swim, as well as weekly trips to Loch Lomond.

He said: "I started to get my head around the idea of swimming the Loch around this time last year.

"Half of the battle is visualising the distance and really getting over that mentally.

"I was in the Loch all last summer and through the winter a well, even when it was getting down to around 2C.

"I wasn't in for very long, but I definitely was in!

"Add that to the continuous indoor swimming, where I was racking up 20km a week."

A regular fundraiser, Fergus hasn't given too much thought to his next escapade, preferring to recover from his latest excursion first.