Tributes following death of world-record-breaking Grimsby swimmer Brenda Fisher

Fisher broke the women’s world record for swimming the English Channel in 1951. Credit: MEN Media

Tributes have been paid to Grimsby-born swimming legend Brenda Fisher, who has died at the age of 95.

Fisher broke the women’s world record for swimming the English Channel in 1951 as well as completing a number of other remarkable endurance feats.

Lucy Wood, who wrote the 2015 book Blonde in Deep Water about Fisher's feat, said: "She brought worldwide fame to Grimsby, but she was so modest about it."She stopped competitively swimming but ended up teaching hundreds of people in Grimsby to swim. There'll be loads of people out there now who will know her because she taught them to swim. That's an amazing legacy to leave behind."

Fisher was credited with putting Grimsby on the map. Credit: MEN Media

Born in 1927 in Scartho, Grimsby, Fisher learned to swim at the age of nine. She used the open waters of Alexandra Dock to practise.

Her world record-breaking swim across the Channel took 12 hours 42 minutes, 38 minutes quicker than the previous best set a year earlier. A crowd of more than 20,000 people welcomed her back to the town afterwards.

Fisher was rewarded with £1,000 and a silver cup offered by Eva Peron – the wife of the then Argentine Republic’s President.

She later won the 29-mile River Nile Swim and became only the third person in history to complete the 32-mile swim across Lake Ontario.

A blue plaque marking her achievements was installed in the town four years ago.

A blue plaque was installed in Grimsby commemorating Brenda Fisher's achievements.

North East Lincolnshire Council leader, Philip Jackson, said Fisher was an inspiration.

"Brenda not only had some incredible achievements in her life but also helped to raise the profile of her home town across the world. My thoughts and sympathies are with Brenda’s family and friends at this time," he said.