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GP to swim English Channel

Chris Cole, 47, a doctor at a Hythe surgery could not swim ten years ago, and now he plans to swim the English Channel.


After learning to swim at the Shirley Swimming Pool, Southampton, he was encouraged to try sea swimming with one of the instructors, Ashley Christopher. Starting with Bournemouth Pier to Pier and then Brownsea Island, Chris was hooked and started training twice a week off Bournemouth beach. Chris will take part in a Channel Team Relay in August.


“All I wanted to do was swim a length of the main pool without panicking. My kids had all learnt at Shirley so I thought I had better have a crack,” said Chris.


Now he will be doing lengths of the Channel with jellyfish for company. But he won’t be alone on this attempt. A team of instructors, known as the Shirley Pool Sea Dogs, will make up the relay around Chris to raise money for local charities.


The swimmers aim to raise £10,000 for two charities: The Countess Mountbatten Cancer Hospice at West End and the homeless charity, Society of St. James.


The team, Chris Cole, Dave Perry, Luke Perry, Steve Hansford and Ashley Christopher, will leave from Dover’s Shakespeare Beach. As the crow flies the distance is 21 miles but due to the tidal current swimmers normally cover over 30 miles.


They will attempt to swim the Channel as a team of five swimmers. Each swimmer will swim for an hour at a time. The swim window is from 22nd to 29th August.


To make a donation visit the website: www.bit.ly/SeaDogs19.




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