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News > Alumni stories > Phil Warren completes Bristol Channel swim from Ilfracombe to Swansea

Phil Warren completes Bristol Channel swim from Ilfracombe to Swansea

After 30 miles of swimming, over 21 hours, Phil becomes the first ever to swim the crossing breaststroke.
22 Nov 2022
Alumni stories

Philip Warren, aged 52, and Old Mole - Class of 1984, successfully swam across the Bristol Channel from Ilfracombe to Swansea on 20th September 2022. He is only the fourth person to have achieved this feat and is the first-ever breaststroker! He swam 30 miles in total and was swimming for 21 hours and 47 minutes! An absolutely incredible effort and a wonderful  achievement.

He set off for the swim in the darkness at 10.41 pm, and swam for nearly eight hours before enjoying a magnificent sunrise, which was such a boost both physically, with its warmth, and emotionally, knowing that the night swim was over. Many of the details of the following hours Phil cannot fully recall, but one memorable highlight of the swim was the pod of dolphins who swam with him for ten minutes as well as the seal that accompanied him for part of his journey back to Wales.

No wetsuit was worn for this epic adventure and Phil only had a pair of Speedos, goggles, and a swimming hat on! He swam alongside his support boat and crew for the duration who threw regular feeds out to him in the water. For the latter part of the swim, one of his crew swam alongside to boost his morale. Being plunged back into the pitch black at the end of the day was very tough, as he had little energy left at this point. Determined he ploughed on, and it was not long before he heard the crashing waves, and realised he had made it! Starting and ending in darkness, exhausted and hugely relieved, it was mission accomplished for Phil!

At the end of his swim, Phil was taken to hospital by ambulance with hypothermia and fluid on the lungs but was later discharged home a channel swimmer!

Phil did this swim to raise money for the charity Mind and Mental Health awareness. If you would like to sponsor him, the link to the Just Giving page is here.

A YouTube video showing the highlights from Phil’s swim can be viewed through this link.

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