Have-a-go channel swimmer sparks eight hour search
An unaccompanied English Channel swimmer, who sparked an eight-hour search, has been picked up by a passing vessel just 500 yards into his planned 27 mile swim from Dover to Calais.
A helicopter and rescue boats were dispatched to the sea off Kent after the coastguard received a call from a member of the public saying a friend was trying to cross to France. HM Coastguard Deal HM Coastguard, Langdon Battery, Dover, Dover RNLI Lifeboat Station, RNLI Dungeness Lifeboat station and coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent were sent.
The rescue operation started just after midday and continued until nearly 8pm on Sunday, when the swimmer was spotted by a passing vessel.
When found, he was cold and tired but otherwise well, the coastguard confirmed. He was picked up by a passing vessel at around 8pm having made it just 500 yards out of Dover.
His adventure has been greeted with disbelief on MCA’s facebook page, not only for spending eight hours and only managing 500m, but also for the waste of time and money.
It’s “irresponsible beyond belief. Our services are streched enough with the current situation and here he is dick head – get him to pay the bill,” says one commentator.
“Takes years of swimming training and a professional approach to swim the Channel…. Your 25m badge at school doesn’t cut it….. He lived to swim another day and complete the remainder of the 22 miles badge another time. But what a tit,” says a second.
“Think he might need a bit more training before trying this again.
Needs to speed up a bit I don’t think 62.5 metres per hour is exactly ideal….would’ve taken him about 22 days to get to Calais if he’d kept up that blistering pace!
“Seriously though what a muppet wasting everyone’s time and money and putting others lives at risk. Should be billed for at least a portion of the search & rescue cost could then pass it on to a charity.”
“Why would you even try this?” asks another.
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