Channel swimmer rescued after eight-hour search

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A lone man attempting to swim the English Channel from Dover to Calais has been rescued following an eight-hour search.

The hunt was prompted by a call to the coastguard from a friend of the swimmer on Monday.

A helicopter and lifeboats were launched as part of the rescue effort, and the man was eventually found by a boat just 500m off the coast of Dover.

The swimmer was brought to shore and was described as “cold and tired”.

The rescue operation began just after midday.

A coastguard spokesperson said: “At around 12.10pm today HM Coastguard received a call from a member of the public with information that their friend was swimming unaccompanied to Calais from Dover.

“Coastguard rescue teams from Deal and Langdon, RNLI lifeboats from Dover and Dungness and coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent were sent.

“Vessels in the area were asked to keep a sharp lookout and Kent Police, Dover Port Police and Dover Port were informed.

“The swimmer was spotted shortly before 8pm by a passing vessel only 500 metres off Dover and was taken onboard the RNLI Dungeness lifeboat, cold and tired but otherwise well.

“He has been brought to shore and will be checked over by South East Ambulance Service.”

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