TWO Barnsley women risked arrest by rowing across the English Channel.

Linda Jackson, 47, of Silkstone, and Verene Farrell, 44, of Royston, took on the choppy waters of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes to raise money for Meningitis UK and the Children's Heart Federation.

They were part of a team of seven women but it wasn't plain sailing for the ladies who were told they wouldn't be allowed to land on the French coast once they had crossed the channel.

Linda said they were told by the French coastguard that a ban was in place on all man-powered vessels.

"We had a nightmare on whether to cross," said Linda.

"It was a case of do we do it and risk getting arrested, which would have meant more publicity, but the fact we would be fined individually upwards of £1,000 made us decide. We said we would row until we were stopped and then row the 24 miles back.

"When we did leave Dover it was a beautiful sunny morning and we rowed the first 12 miles laughing, singing and in time.

"Then at the half way point we had word from the support boat we were in French waters so we all took time for a toilet break then rowed back.

"We had seen two groups of dolphins and a nosey seal on the way and that helped keep us going as exhaustion, and, in one case, severe sea sickness, kicked in."

Linda said she and her pals are proud of what they achieved and sponsorship for the challenge has helped them raise more than £30,000 for charity.