Massive search is launched for solo cross-Channel swimmer

Massive search is launched for cross-Channel swimmer trying to swim 27 miles solo from Dover to Calais

  • Person called the coastguard to report friend was attempting the swim alone
  • Helicopter and rescue boats dispatched to sea off Kent, very busy shipping lane
  • Vessels asked to keep a lookout after coastguard got call at 12.10pm Monday
  • The fastest swim across the frigid waters is a little over seven hours 

A huge search is under way in the English Channel for someone trying to swim from Dover to Calais unaccompanied.

A helicopter and rescue teams 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.

The 27-mile stretch between Dover and Calais is incredibly dangerous and home to the world’s busiest shipping lanes. 

A coastguard spokesperson said: ‘At around 12.10pm today HM Coastguard received a call from a member of the public with information that their friend was swimming unaccompanied to Calais from Dover. 

An RNLI life boat and helicopter in the English Channel (stock image)

The fastest ever swim across the Channel is a little over seven hours and across the shortest route, measured at 21 miles, great care and planning must be undertaken to avoid shipping containers. The coastguard was alerted that the swim was being undertaken at 12.10pm

‘Coastguard rescue teams from Deal and Langdon, an RNLI lifeboat from Dover and a coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd have been sent.

‘Vessels in the area have been asked to keep a sharp lookout and Kent Police, Dover Port Police and Dover Port have been informed. The search is ongoing.’

The incident is not related to migrant crossings. 

Air temperatures in Dover on Monday afternoon were about 17C with winds of up to 10mph, according to the Met Office.

The fastest ever swim across the Channel is a little over seven hours and across the shortest route, measured at 21 miles, great care and planning must be undertaken to avoid colossal cargo vessels. 


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