Jeffreys Bay siblings aim for record-breaking swims to swell funds for hospital emergency room

10 June 2019

The Bredell sisters from Jeffreys Bay are taking on the world, as they prepare to be record-breaking swimmers with a cause. The sisters’ March 2020 goal is to raise funds towards the R100m needed for the construction of an emergency room at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

Swimmers conquer icy Atlantic swim

06:00 06/06/2019


A strong head wind and 12° Celsius water did little to deter three Jeffreys Bay swimmers from comple-ting the notorious Lighthouse swim in Cape Town last weekend.

Ten-year-old Issataya Bredell had to dig deep within herself to complete the final leg of a relay swim, won by the team from the Eastern Cape.

Issataya and her sister, Abriella (12), who is no stranger to the cold Atlantic waters, after having set a world record for being the youngest person to swim the Robben Island channel, as well as mentor Brenton Williams, completed the 10.5km Lighthouse swim in just over three and half hours.

“It was really tough at the end as the water temperature dropped from 14° Celsius to 12° Celsius and the wind picked up, which made the water very choppy,” said Issataya, who is aiming at conquering Cape Point next year.

The 8.5km swim from Dias Beach, situated between Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, is one of the most highly respected and feared open water swims in the world.

Her fellow Eastern Cape swimmer,Williams, swam around Cape Point twice – once doing only the butterfly stroke and setting a world record.

“The raw power of the ocean one experiences at Dias Beach is something I haven’t done anywhere else before, and the section of coast from the beach to Cape Point is truly magnificent,” said Williams.

“Swimming around Cape Point and then into False Bay is a surreal feeling and the water normally gets a bit warmer as you head towards Buffels Bay,” added Williams.

Abriella (12) has her eyes set on swimming around Robben Island next year and the Lighthouse swim was one of the training sessions for her next great adventure.

Having already done the Robben Island to Blouberg crossing, Abriella now wants to set a new record for being the youngest swimmer to swim around the island, known for its cold water, currents and wildlife.

While doing so, Abriella raised funds for the Children’s Hospital Trust (Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital).

Abriella and Issataya are again partnering with the Children’s Hospital Trust to raise funds for the upgrade and expansion of the Emergency Centre at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

For more information about the planned swims and to follow and support the Bredell girls, visit

Sisters aged 10 and 12 to brave Cape Point to False Bay swim for charity


Cape Town – The Bredell sisters, Issataya, 10, and Abriella, 12, from St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape are back in town and are looking to continue from where they left off.

They will raise funds for the upgrading and expansion of the emergency room at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Their goal is to raise R122 million.

Issataya will swim the 8.5km route from Cape Point to False Bay while Abriella will swim the 11.9km route around Robben Island.

The duo will also attempt to break the record for being the youngest people to swim these particular routes and distances.

Although the event only takes place next year, they are hard at work brushing up on their swimming skills.

“On average, I swim about 16km per week. However, the number will increase as we get closer to the event.

“At the moment, I am doing pool training four days per week at Liquid Lines in St Francis Bay. We also do an open water swim on a Friday and Sunday at the canals and the Marina Martinique in Jeffreys Bay respectively.

“This is a good place to train as it has a nice current that is quite realistic,” said Issataya, who believes it is not easy to balance academics and sports.

“When we do get spare time we make the most of it, but academics always takes first preference,” she added.

Abriella said what had prompted them to do the swims was seeing children at a young age fighting life-threatening battles.

“My sister and I want to raise funds for the children and families who are facing challenges every day. We want to fight the battle with them. Seeing children struggle is what motivates us to keep on going. This is not going to be easy but if we put our minds to it, anything is possible,” she said.

Swimming became a big part of the sisters’ lives after they went sailing in the Bahamas a few years ago.

“It became more like a hobby but in 2013, we were introduced to open-water swimming.

“We did not even think of breaking records or raising funds for a worthy cause,” she said.

Last year, Abriella created her own piece of history by becoming the youngest person to swim from Robben Island to Big Bay, raising R158000 for the Red Cross intensive care unit. She swam 7.9km in three hours and eight minutes.

“I felt good about my performance in 2018 and was lucky enough to have the support of so many people. It brought great joy in my heart that I contributed to a worthy course.

“What was special at the cheque handover was the cards I received from the children which I will treasure forever,” she said.

Chief executive of the Children’s Hospital Trust Chantel Cooper said the Bredell sisters were inspiring young women.

Weekend Argus

Chief executive of The Children’s Hospital Trust Chantel Cooper, Issataya Bredell, Abriella Bredell and Dr Matodzi Mukosi. Supplied

Re-cap of swim

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