45-year-old got into difficulty in the water near Calais while was taking part in London-to-Paris Enduroman event
A British athlete who was trying to run, cycle and swimming from Marble Arch in London to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris has died crossing the Channel.
Nick Thomas got into trouble in the water near Calais, according to Enduroman the events organisers. The 45 -year-old from the Shropshire town of Ellesmere, near the Welsh border, had been swimming for 16 hours.
A spokesman for the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation corroborated a human had died, but added he was doing what he loved. A swimmer was taken from the water less than a mile from the finish in France, he said. There was an extremely experienced support team on board the supporting vessel.
He was given CPR and taken to Calais where he was sadly pronounced dead. It is an extreme athletic, we know the risks. He was doing what he loved doing. Our believes are with his family.
Enduroman, are stationed in Dorset, says the Arch to Arc event includes an 87 -mile run from London to the south coast and a 181 -mile bicycle ride to Paris. In between, athletes must complete the Channel swim usually 21 miles and in water temperatures of 16 C( 61 F) or below.
Tweets posted by Enduroman suggested that gale and the tides had constructed the going particularly tough. The Channel Swimming Association says it can take between seven and 27 hours to complete the swim, partly because the tides and current can move swimmers away from the nearest point to make landfall in France. The company describes the extreme event as being suitable merely for experienced ultra-distance athletes. Challengers pay 3,000 to take part.
Social media posts from Thomas suggested he had completed the event at least once before, with one showing a picture of him in cycling gear in Paris draping a union jack in the street. He had also vied in the Ironman Lanzarote event, according to its organisers. That also includes swimming, running and cycling segments in the area of the islands main tourist resort, with 40 qualifying slots for the Ironman world championships available to contestants.
Freddie Iron, who was named joint-winner of the Channel 4 program SAS: Who Dares Wins, which sets civilians through a simulated special forces selection process, said he was absolutely devastated by the news.
A true Enduroman great, developing partner and friend, he wrote on Facebook. He will be sorely missed and his loss will be massively felt in the Enduroman community. Thinks are with his family. Maintain swimming my friend.
Ironman competitors and brethren David and Rowan Ardill also paid tribute. So incredibly sad to hear of the pas of @trismartnick. A huge inspiration of a human who died doing something he loved, Rowan tweeted. David added that Thomas had been an inspiration and had helped hundreds more like me to get into triathlon. Such a sad loss of a great bloke.
The Foreign Office confirmed it was offering assistance to the family of a British national after his death in Calais.
Read more: www.theguardian.com