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Paramedic and cardiac arrest survivor complete Channel swim

PUBLISHED: 11:29 25 July 2017

The Channel swim team

The Channel swim team

Archant

The team of four completed the challenge in 15 hours and 37 minutes

A South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) paramedic and a cardiac arrest survivor have successfully swum the English Channel from Dover to Cap Blanc Nez, as part of team of four for charity.

The team included Steve Fish, from Folkestone, who was resuscitated by medics on the beach at Dover only last year after he suffered a cardiac arrest while training to swim the Channel, as well as paramedic Nigel Stock, physiotherapist, Steve Lodge and former police detective, Diane Murphy Weaver.

The quartet started their journey to France in the dark at 3.10am on Friday, June 30 and worked relentlessly through the day and into the evening to reach the shore through the waves.

Although they were lucky with weather conditions and a relatively calm sea, the team were plagued by jelly fish.

The team completed the challenge in 15 hours and 37 minutes, swimming in hourly rotations.

“Swimming across the mid-Channel shipping lanes was an awesome experience,” said Mr Stock.

“There were some good sized waves created by the ferries and cargo ships, and there were also dolphins and seals who made an appearance along the way.”

Once the team reached French inshore waters in the late afternoon, they needed to work even harder as the tide was sweeping them along the coast instead of towards the shore.

Swimming against the current, Mr Fish, who works for the Home Office, led them onto the beach to finish as a team.

“I’m so happy to have recovered my full health and achieved this crossing,” he said.

“I was also very lucky to receive such excellent medical attention which included the care of experienced paramedic Robert Lambert.

“He accompanied me in the ambulance from Dover to the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford, and started my heart beating for a second time en route, when I suffered another cardiac arrest.”

As a result of his experience, it has now been mandated that all coastal boats should carry a defibrillator.

In swimming the Channel, wetsuits are not allowed if the crossing is to count as a Channel swim.

Preparations involve a year of training, including braving ice-cold open waters during the winter months.

Those wishing to donate to Mr Stock’s chosen charity, Sebastian’s Action Trust, can do so here

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