On September 19, 2010, Philippe Croizon, a 42-year-old former metalworker, set off from Folkestone, Kent, in southern England at around 6 am in an attempt to swim across the English channel, expecting to reach France within 24 hours but managed to complete the crossing and arrived at Wissant in just 13-and-a-half hours, just before 9.30pm.
What makes this feat most astonishing and amazing is the fact that the Frenchman has become the first limbless man in history to swim across the 33-kilometer (20.5 miles) English Channel.
Philippe Croizon, 42, of Chatelleraut, France, suffered a devastating accident 16 years ago in 1994 when he was electrically shocked with 20,000 volts while removing a television aerial on a roof hit a power line. Doctors were forced to amputate his arms and legs.
He only taught himself to swim in the last two years and does so using prosthetic legs and a snorkel and mask. The amputee trained for 35 hours a week for the past two years and his endeavour attracted letters of support from President Sarkozy and other politicians.
Propelled by his specially designed flipper-shaped prosthetic legs and steadying himself with the stumps of his arms, Croizon kept up a constant speed in good weather, and was accompanied by dolphins for part of the 33-kilometre swim, his support team said.
After completing the 21-mile challenge, Mr Croizon told the BBC that at no point did he feel he was not going to make it, despite pains and aches all over his body. He said his aim was to inspire all those ''who think life is nothing but suffering''.
“I did it! It’s crazy!” said Croizon. “I’ve done this for myself, for my family, and for all those who have suffered tragedy and lost their taste for life.”
Well done, Philippe :) Thank you for showing us that nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it!