So near, yet so far as St Neots man tries Channel swim

HE may have failed in his bid to swim breaststroke across the English Channel but Bryn Dymott has succeeded in raising more than �4,000 for charity.

The St Neots father-of-two set off on Tuesday (August 14) from Shakespeare Beach in Dover on his 21-mile quest to swim to northern France.

But after seven-and-a-half hours in the water, at a temperature of little more than 10 degrees, hypothermia set in and the attempt had to be abandoned.

“We were lucky at the start because the tides were on our side,” he told The Hunts Post. “I’d been worried about having to set off late in the afternoon and then swim through the night. But there was a high tide at 11am so that was perfect.”

Mr Dymott, 49, of Love’s Farm, set off, accompanied by a support crew of five, including wife Linda, in what he described as perfect conditions.

The water was reasonably calm and not unduly cold and within the first few hours it appeared that all the training had paid off.

“But what happened a few hours in I just hadn’t foreseen,” Mr Dymott said. “I’d agreed with the crew that if the pain in my legs started to build I would switch to freestyle. But I wasn’t feeling the cold – I certainly didn’t think I was cold.”

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But Mr Dymott’s body began reacting to the water temperature. “It was as if I was falling asleep for seconds at a time,” he said.

After battling on for as long as possible, the support crew made the decision to lift Mr Dymott from the water, which he does not remember.

“I’m gutted and very disappointed because I’d prepared so wellw and I don’t really know why this happened,” he said.

Back on dry land he remains positive about the money he has raised for Parkinson’s UK and his future plans.

“I’m definitely going to continue swimming in our River Great Ouse and I’m training for the King’s Lynn 4,000km next month.”

And when asked what he had learned from the whole experience, he said: “That there’s a good reason why only nine people have swam breaststroke across the English Channel!”

And this is why he is planning another attempt in 2015.