English Channel swimmer feared for his life ahead of challenge

Thursday 8th September 2016 4:00 pm

Gavin Lewis said the “massive” container ships were concerning

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AN ABERYSTWYTH man who swam the English Channel last week said he almost pulled out at the last minute over fears for his life.

Former Penglais School pupil Gavin Lewis, 37, said he was “broken” after battling against excruciating shoulder pain, giant jellyfish, and having to avoid “massive” container ships to complete the 21-mile swim last Thursday in a time of 15hrs and 38mins.

And Gavin, who trained for two years in preparation for the swim, has now raised more than £9,500 for the Stay Stronger for Ows campaign, which funds continuing care for Owen Williams, a once-promising Wales and Cardiff Blues rugby player who suffered a serious injury to his spinal cord while playing rugby in 2014.

But Gavin almost never started the swim after a fellow channel swimmer died while attempting the crossing the week before, and another was pulled from the sea unconscious.

“I was really getting worried about it,” Gavin told the Cambrian News this week. “It really sort of hit home how difficult it was going to be and I begun having second thoughts.”

But Gavin persevered and at 8am on Thursday morning, following a previous delay due to bad weather, Gavin entered the sea at Shakespeare Beach, Kent.

To sponsor Gavin and support the Stay Strong for Ows campaign, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/onebigswim.

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