Tom Blower (1914–1955; nicknamed "Torpedo") was a British man who on 27–28 July 1947 became the first to successfully swim the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, completing the feat in 15 hours and 26 minutes. In spite of multiple attempts by others, the North Channel would not be successfully crossed by a swimmer again until 12 September 1970, when it was accomplished by Kevin Murphy. Blower also swam the English Channel several times, with a personal best speed of 13 hours and 29 minutes in 1937 that set a new record, shaving the previous best by 23 minutes.
Born in Hyson Green in 1914, Blower was a resident of Nottingham until shortly before his death of a heart attack in 1955, when he resided in Dartmouth.A long-distance endurance swimmer, Blower practiced in the River Trent near The Meadows. The son of a miner, Blower was a decorated World War II hero who gained national celebrity for his swimming.
Marilyn Grace Bell Di Lascio is a Canadian retired long distance swimmer. She was the first person to swim across Lake Ontario and later swam the English Channel and Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Captain Matthew Webb was an English swimmer and stuntman. He is the first recorded person to swim the English Channel for sport without the use of artificial aids. In 1875, Webb swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours. This made him a celebrity, and he performed many stunts in public. He died trying to swim the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara Falls, a feat declared impossible.
Gertrude Caroline Ederle was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and world record-holder in five events. On August 6, 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Among other nicknames, the press sometimes called her "Queen of the Waves".
Florence May Chadwick was an American swimmer known for long-distance open water swimming. She was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions, setting a time record each time. She was also the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Bosporus, and the Dardanelles.
Lynne Cox is an American long-distance open-water swimmer, writer and speaker. She is best known for being the first person to swim between the United States and the Soviet Union, in the Bering Strait, a feat which has been recognized for easing the Cold War tensions between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The North Channel is the strait between north-eastern Northern Ireland and south-western Scotland. It begins north of the Isle of Man, where the Irish Sea ends, and runs north-west into the Atlantic Ocean.
Alison Jane Streeter MBE is a British long-distance swimmer.
Kevin Murphy has swum the English Channel 34 times, more than any other man in history. The overall title of greatest number of successful English Channel swims is held by Chloë McCardel with 44 to her name.
Ethel "Sunny" Lowry MBE was claimed to be the first British woman to swim the English Channel in 1933..
Ida Elionsky was a champion long-distance swimmer and handicap swimmer. She was the first woman to swim around the island of Manhattan.
Henry Francis Sullivan was an American marathon swimmer who is best known for becoming the third person and the first American to swim across the English Channel, beginning his swim on the afternoon of August 5, 1923, from Dover, England and finishing 27 hours and 25 minutes later on the evening of August 6 at Calais, France.
Nejib Belhedi is a Tunisian Marathon Icy and Iron open-water swimmer.
Bhakti Sharma is an Indian Open water swimmer.
Margaret White-Wrixon was the first woman to swim the Thames Estuary from Southend to Kent, a feat she completed in 3 hours 5 minutes on 7 August 1960, aged 16. On 25 June 1961, aged 17, she became the first person to complete the Thames Estuary two-way swim, which she did in 6 hours and 40 minutes She was accompanied on that swim by official observers from Leigh Swimming Club and the historic fishing boat The Endeavour. Also in 1961, she became the youngest person to swim the English Channel, swimming from France to England in 15 hours 8 minutes.
Rupali Ramdas Repale, is an Indian open-water long-distance swimmer and triathlete. She swam the English Channel in the solo swim category on 15 August 1994 in a time span of 16 hours and 7 minutes, making her the youngest successful swimmer to cross the English Channel for the year 1994. She swam a total of seven straits during the course of her swimming career, Gibraltar Strait, Palk Strait, Bass Strait, Cook Strait, Robben Island Channel and Mumbai-Dharamtar Channel.
Sarah Thomas is an American marathon swimmer. She is the first person to complete four consecutive crossings of the English Channel and the first person to swim a current-neutral swim over 100 miles. She holds the world record for longest, second-, and third-longest current-neutral swims, and various other records in both fresh and salt water categories.
Stella Taylor was an English-born American long-distance swimmer, best known for crossing the English Channel twice and holding Guinness Book of Records recognition as the oldest woman to swim across the Channel.
Edmund Caunce Nowell 'Ted' Heaton was a British diver and swimming instructor born in Liverpool, England. He is notable for his small tank diving displays during the late 19th century and for his several unsuccessful attempts to swim the English Channel during the early 20th century. Having begun training to swim the channel in 1893, he made a total of seven attempts. He often came within several miles of the French coast, with the closest being in August 1909 when he came within 2 miles (3.2 km). His swimming efforts earned him a role as a superintendent of his local swimming baths and a salary of £120 a year which also included accommodation and energy provision.
Kevin Murphy 21-year-old Londoner, swam the Irish Sea from Ireland to Scotland today, a feat accomplished only once before.