Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

Man who tried to swim alone from Dover to Calais rescued after eight-hour search

A man who got lost while trying to swim across the Channel alone has been rescued after an eight-hour search mission.

Rescue teams and a helicopter were scrambled from Kent after the coastguard received a call from a person saying their friend was trying to swim from Dover to Calais.

The man was spotted by a passing vessel 500 metres off the coast of Dover shortly before 8pm, after rescue teams had been sent out at midday.

He was found was ‘cold and tired but otherwise well’, said the coastguard.

The man has since been brought to shore and will be checked over by ambulance staff.

The 27-mile stretch between Dover and Calais can be dangerous and is home to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, while temperatures in Dover on Monday afternoon were about 17C.

It is understood that the man’s intention was not to cross the Channel to seek refuge.

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.

‘Coastguard rescue teams from Deal and Langdon, RNLI lifeboats from Dover and Dungness and coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent were sent.

‘The swimmer was spotted shortly before 8pm by a passing vessel only 500 metres off Dover and was taken onboard the RNLI Dungeness lifeboat, cold and tired but otherwise well’.

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