Philippe Croizon became the first limbless person to swim the Channel

A Frenchman became the first limbless person to swim the Channel on Saturday night.

Philippe Croizon became the first limbless person to swim the Channel on Saturday night (19 Sep 2010)

A Frenchman whose arms and legs were amputated swam across the English Channel this weekend using leg prostheses that have flippers attached.

Philippe Croizon, 42, had expected the tough crossing to take up to 24 hours and instead, he finished in only 13 and a half. His team believe this is a record time for a disabled swimmer.

“I did it, I’m happy, I’m so happy, I can’t believe it, it’s crazy,” he told France-Info radio, sounding giddy on arrival late Saturday.

Three dolphins joined him for a while. “We took that as a sign of good luck,” the swimmer’s father, Gerard Croizon, said in a statement.

Philippe Croizon set off from Folkestone on the British side of the English Channel and arrived near the French town of Wissant. At the narrowest point, the crossing is about 34 kms.

Croizon’s specially designed leg protheses, which end in flippers, allow him to propel himself through the water. He has flippers connected to his specially designed swimsuit and an extra long snorkel that runs straight up between his eyes. His truncated upper arms go through the motions of the crawl, and he breathes through a snorkel.

The swimmer lost his arms and legs after suffering an electric shock in 1994 as a current surged through him from a nearby powerline as he stood on a ladder adjusting his television antenna Doctors were forced to amputate his limbs after the incident

Croizon made headlines in 2007 for parachuting from an airplane. He wrote a book about his experiences called “J’ai decide de vivre”‘ (I decided to live.)

Read more: Limbless swimmer beats odds, crosses English Channel – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Limbless-swimmer-beats-odds-crosses-English-Channel/articleshow/6562639.cms#ixzz103B70fTT

 

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