DISCLAIMER: Open-water swimming is inherently dangerous. Open-water swimmers risk drowning, hypothermia, hyperthermia, heart attacks, panic attacks, cramping, jelly fish stings, fish bites, boat or jet-ski collisions, collisions with floating or submerged objects (including other swimmers), and other calamities that can be injurious, disabling or fatal! The "West Neck Pod" is an informal association of open-water swimmers who swim "outside the lines" with no lifeguard protection, it has no formal membership, organizational structure or legal identity, and its participants, including the author of this blog, make no representations and assume no liability with respect to its group open-water swims. All swimmers who participate in West Neck Pod group open-water swims do so at their own risk. Be careful out there!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

John Collingwood's English Channel Swim

John in England before one of his training swims (from
Honorary Pod member John Collingwood's mid-July English Channel crossing attempt nearly ended in disaster, as a severely hypothermic John was pulled from the water after more than 14 hours of swimming -- approximately 500 meters from land at Cap Gris-Nez. As the attached link to a gripping first-person account by one of his buddies reflects, John was immediately rushed by boat  to the hospital in Dover where he was admitted in dire condition, with his lungs filled with seawater and his internal organs shutting down....Once he had recovered somewhat, John also shared some of his reflections on the experience which are included in the link below....

John, a Tupperware executive who is a resident of Florida but a native of South Africa, was swimming to raise money for The Boys and Girls Club of South Africa, and though he was unfortunately unable to complete his swim, he succeeded in raising more than $100,000 for this cause. 

Some of us were privileged to meet John in May of this year, when he joined the West Neck Pod for a heroic open-water swim in 53-degree water to help him begin to acclimate to the water temperatures he'd be facing in England in July (see blogpost at http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3454244657463222992#editor/target=post;postID=40153180163331969).

I'm sorry that John was unable to accomplish his goal (the swimming part of it, anyway!), but I offer thanks for his survival, congratulations on his fundraising success, and an invitation for him to rejoin the Pod for an open-water swim anytime! Welkom tuis, John!

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