The Most Dangerous Swim In The World

The Most Dangerous swim in the world, most folks may think that the most dangerous swim in the world is deep in shark infested waters, or with jellyfish but it hastens me to say that the most dangerous swim in the world is probably the English Channel. And yes, there is no great white sharks, and therefore no shark attacks, but there is 32KM of deep water, strong currents, and one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

The History Of The English Channel Swim

The English Channel, also known as the Channel, is a narrow stretch of water that separates southern England from northern France. It is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, this adds tremendously to the danger.

The first recorded swim across the Channel was by Captain Matthew Webb in 1875. Webb swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours. Since then, many people have attempted to swim the Channel, but only a few have been successful.

The Channel is notoriously difficult to swim because of the distance, the strong currents and bitterly cold water. As mentioned above, it is also a busy shipping lane, so swimmers must be careful of boats, including massive oil tankers and Navy ships.


Famous folks who have swam the English channel.

The English comedian David Walliams swam the English channel in 2016 for charity. The comedian spent 10 hours and 34 minutes in cold water to complete the swim. Walliams said he was amazed to discover his time had put him in the top 50 channel swimmers.

English Channel Swimming Records

Fastest Man was Australian Trent Grimsey with an incredible time of 06:55 back in 2012.

Most crossings is held by Australian Chloë McCardel who has swam the channel an unsurpassed 44 times.

Oldest swimmer to cross the channel is South African Otto Thaning who swam it back in 2014 at the ripe old age of 73 years old. Incredible.

What do swimmers wear when they swim the English channel?

Swimmers who attempt to swim the English Channel typically wear a wetsuit to protect against the cold water temperatures. In addition, they may wear full swimming kit , like a swim cap, swim socks, swim gloves for warmth and goggles to help them see.


However, some were only a thick covering of Channel Grease!! What is Channel Grease? 

Channel grease is thick an anti-chafing concoction including lanolin, Vaseline and/or a combination of other anti-chafing ointments (petroleum jelly, zinc oxide) that are applied to the bare skin of English channel swimmers.

Can you swim the English channel solo or do you need a support team?

To swim the English Channel solo, you need to be a strong swimmer with a lot of endurance. However, you will also need to have a support team in place to help you with things like navigation and safety. No endeavour such as swimming the channel is truly solo.

What is Open Water Swimming?

Open water swimming is swimming in an outdoors or natural body of water without the aid of a lifeguard. Swimmers may swim in oceans, lakes, lochs, rivers, or other natural bodies of water. Open water swimming can be dangerous due to the lack of supervision and the possibility of strong currents. Remember that nature can be ruthless and always take swimming outdoors seriously and treat it with respect it deserves. Check out our wild swimming kit list and our watersports safety articles.

Is Open Water Swimming Dangerous?

Open water swimming can be dangerous if the swimmer is not careful. The tide can quickly pull a swimmer out to sea, and there are many hazards in the water that can hurt a swimmer. Rivers, can have strong flows and multiple water features, most of which are not visible above the waterline. However, if the swimmer is careful and knows what they are doing, open water swimming can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

What Do You Wear for Open Water Swimming?

Open water swimmers need to wear a few key items in order to be safe and comfortable while swimming. Check our open water swimming gear guide for the full list.

Things to consider, chose your place to swim carefully, avoid dangerous waters, strong rip currents, shark infested waters!! Whirlpools etc. Make sure someone knows where you are, be sensible and do not push your self beyond your limits.

How Long Does it Take to Swim a Mile in the Open Water?

Swimming is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors, but how long does it take to swim a mile in the open water?

The average swimmer can expect to swim a mile in about 30 to 50 minutes, but this will vary depending on the swimmer’s fitness level and the body of water. If the water is cold, it will take longer to swim a mile as the swimmer’s muscles will be working harder to keep warm.

Swimmers should always be aware of their surroundings and take safety precautions when swimming in open bodies of water.

Conclusion of the most dangerous swim in the world

In reality, each and every swim has the potential to turn into the most dangerous swim of your life. With this in mind, having a good level of fitness, having the correct swimming kit, good common sense and swimming within your limits are all keys to having a fun and enjoyable swim. Hopefully, this article has inspired you and shown you what is possible. From the first crossing of taking 22hrs to the record of just under 7hrs, shows that if you are just starting out wild swimming, that you should dream big, practice hard, have fun and with time and practice you too could be pushing your own limits and achieving fantastic goals. Alternatively, you can just swim for fun and fitness. Whatever you decide to do, have fun and enjoy it.


Fancy a long distance swim with camping? Check out our swimpacking gear guide and info. 


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