Three brothers from Cumbria have smashed three extreme swimming records during one death defying trip.

Not only did they swim across the two most powerful whirlpools in the world, the Hudson brothers - Robbie, 29, Calum, 26, and Jack, 24 - also completed the longest ever swim in the arctic circle.

They travelled to the remote northern tip of Norway to take on the Saltstraumen and Mokstraumen, two of the strongest tidal currents on the planet.

The Mokstraumen challenge was part of a groundbreaking 8km swim in the arctic ocean.

They battled through vicious rapids, in water which hovers just above freezing temperature and had to deal with the threat of killer whales and giant jellyfish.

Calum, the middle of the three brothers from the Eden valley, said: "We swam the River Eden last year and we were looking for something further away and bigger.

"We had already done the third biggest whirlpool in the world, Corryvreckan in Scotland.

"We were wondering if anyone had ever done the first and second biggest and it turned out no one ever has."

The trio completed the swim, with help from a team of four and the boat captain.

Calum said: "We are talking six months of preparation and research.

"The locals know the currents better than anyone.

"If you just rocked up and did it you would die so you have to partner with them.

"At the Saltstraumen the currents change every 12 minutes which gives you 11 minutes to get across before the massive whirlpool opens up."

Calum, who was on the verge of hypothermia, said: "When the currents come they carry cold water with them and I was shaking like a rattle.

"One of the support guys passed me a cup of coffee and I threw it in his face because I was shaking so much."

The brothers teamed up with Norway's World Wildlife Foundation to oppose oil development in the area.

Calum said: "There is a lot of oil drilling going on there and a big argument over it.

"It was fun but it was also a good image to have three brothers swimming across it – the visuals were strong somehow.

"When people are cycling or in a boat they seem protected somehow but when you are swimming you are exposed and vulnerable.

"If three lads like us are willing to risk it like that then it must be worth protecting."

Born and bred in Cumbria but now split between London, Berlin and Newcastle, the swim was as much about fraternity and adventure as it was about conservation.

Calum said: "For us it's an excuse to do something we think of as fun and exciting together.

"We lived in Cumbria for most of our lives - swimming the River Eden [last year] was a way of saying goodbye.

"We're all used to sitting in offices or commuting now so it's a bit of a rebellion against that – doing that every day is more insane than swimming across a whirlpool."