Twelve set themselves English Channel swimming challenge

Twelve courageous paramedics and student paramedics have taken on the challenge of swimming the English Channel this summer.

Two teams, one from east Suffolk and the other from west Suffolk, are aiming to raise as much money as possible for two ambulance related charities.

The 21 mile challenge, which is due to take place from near Dover to the French coast between June 30 and July 8, comprises of two teams of six swimmers.

Carl Friar, Simon Pryke, Mark Barham, Sam Nicholls, Jo Foot and Ben Brown are in Team East Suffolk. Whilst Mark Ransom, Darren Maguire, Tia Whiteman, Ria Delves, Cathy Freeman and Richard Pearce are team West Suffolk.

They hope to raise thousands of pounds in aid of TASC, The Ambulance Staff Charity, which supports past and present ambulance staff and their families in times of need, and the Ambulance Wish Foundation UK, which aims to help terminally ill people to fulfil their final wish.

Under the Channel Swimming Association rules each team must have one swimmer in the sea at any one time and have a support boat to accompany them on the journey to France. Swimmers are not permitted to wear a wet suit and prior to making the attempt must complete a gruelling two hour open water swim in water less than 15.5 degrees.

Team West Suffolk's captain Mark Ransom, who is no stranger to the English Channel, completed a solo crossing in 2008.

He said: “After my solo swim I thought a team relay swim would be a wonderful way to encourage my colleagues to engage with the unique challenges associated with cross-channel swimming as well as a great team building opportunity. Open water swimming has become a popular sport and its benefits to health and wellbeing are well documented. We have chosen to help specific ambulance charities to highlight the wonderful work they do and the special services that they provide for ambulance staff and their families.”

To sponsor them, visit

 And follow them on Facebook at!/paramedicchannelswim/

Picture - from left to right - Carl Friar, Mark Ransom, Tia Whiteman and Ria Delve

Published 8th May, 2017

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