Channel swimming fatalities

Like any extreme sport, Channel swimming has risks attached to it, and over the years ten swimmers have died while attempting the swim.

1926 Rodriguez de Lara

Rodriguez de Lara, from Spain, was believed to have become the first person to drown while making a Channel swim attempt.

1954 Edward J May

On 8 September 1954, lone Englishman Edward J May is reported to have set off from Cap Gris Nez to swim to England, but without a pilot boat and against official advice. His body was found weeks later washed up in Holland.

1984 Kumar Anandan

Sri Lankan swimmer Kumar Anandan, 36, died while making his attempt. At the subsequent inquest, Coroner Richard Sturt recommended that anyone making an attempt to swim the Channel should produce a fitness certificate. Since then all swimmers have been told they must produce a medical certificate.

1988 Renata Agondi

Brazilian swimmer Renata Agondi, 25, from San Paulo, died on 23 August 1988 about eight miles off the French coast while swimming from Dover. There had been a dispute on board the escort ship about who had the final responsibility for ending a swim. As a result, guidelines were drawn up setting down a chain of command, ensuring that the pilot was the person who made the final decision about whether a swimmer should remain in the water.

1999 Fausta Marin Moreno

Mexican swimmer Fausta Marin Moreno drowned during a swim from England to France on 20 August 1999.

2001 Ueli Staub

On 11 August 2001, Swiss swimmer Ueli Staub, 37, disappeared from view when he was about a mile off the French coast having swum for 16 hours from Dover. His body was found six days later, in the sea near Ostende.

2012 Páraic Casey

Páraic Casey, 45, a member of the Sandycove Swimming Club in Cork, Ireland began his swim at 9.13am on Saturday 21 July 2012 and became ill at around 1:30 in the morning of 22 July 2012, just 1km from the coast of France. Attempts to resuscitate him by crew on the boat and medics flown in by a French rescue helicopter were unsuccessful.

2013 Susan Taylor

Susan Taylor, 34, died a mile from the French coast on 14 July 2013 while swimming the Channel to raise money for charity, having quit her job in order to train for the challenge. She suffered an acute cardio-respiratory collapse and was pulled from the water by support crew, but could not be resuscitated.

2016 Nick Thomas

Nick Thomas, 45, was less than a mile from reaching the French shore on 27 August 2016 when he fell unconcious and was removed from the water. After receiving resuscitation from his support crew, he was treated by paramedics in Calais harbour and taken to hospital where he passed away in the early hours of 28th August. An inquest heard he died of a heart attack following 16 hours in the water.

2017 Douglas Waymark

Douglas Waymark, from Cheltenham, got into difficulty around half way through his swim on 7 August 2017. He was airlifted by helicopter to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford where he later died. He was taking part in the Enduroman Arch 2 Arc triathalon, having already run the 87 miles from Marble Arch, London to Dover over the previous two days.
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