Published: 15:00, 17 October 2014
When a merman outfit arrived in the post for Whitstable rotary president David Cavell his family knew there was something fishy about it.
The 71-year-old bought the black, full-length latex suit to promote a sponsored swim for Kent Air Ambulance – his chosen charity of the year.
But the sirens began to sound when he showed his daughter Piroska who informed him he had mistakenly bought a gimp costume instead.
Unknown to him, the tight, rubber attire is more commonly used in sado-masochistic sex sessions.
David, of Alexandra Road, said: "She burst out laughing as soon as she saw it and said 'Dad, that's what they call a gimp suit!'
"I didn't know what it was but when she told me I thought it accounted for the odd emails I've been sent since I bought it."
"I didn't know what it was but when she told me I thought it accounted for the odd emails I've been sent since I bought it..." - David Cavell
However, the innocent mix-up proved not to be a disaster totally off the scales as David's artistic wife Marika managed to create the outfit by cutting the suit in half and decorating the tail.
David has been training in the suit at the DW fitness club in Canterbury before the swim at Whitstable Swimming Pool on Wednesday, November 12.
On the Rotary club website, he explained his decision to support the charity.
He wrote: "They save lives of people, irrespective of who they are. The personnel do not discriminate, or judge, they just get on with the job of saving lives.
"To do this most invaluable service they rely totally on charitable donations!
"Now, what can I do to help? I can swim, great but sponsored swims have been done before and, quite honestly, are very boring to watch.
"Thinking about this, I decided to do a swim with a difference, using my arms only, legs strapped together. Not bad but still not spectator friendly.
"Ahah! Lets encase my legs in a fish tail, after all, I am not using them. A little more interesting.
"Now I become a merman. Cannot be a mermaid, I am not shaving off my beard of forty years, even for this!"
To sponsor David, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
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