Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation "Nothing great is easy", Captain Matthew Webb

28 Aug 2016Nick Thomas

On behalf of the CS&PF, it is with great sadness that we report the death of Nick Thomas, who passed away in the early hours of Sunday 28th August, following an attempted solo swim of the English Channel.

This is devastating news for the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation and the entire Channel Swimming Community.  First and foremost, our thoughts are with Nick, his family and his friends to whom the CS&PF extends our deepest sympathies. Nick Thomas is survived by his wife and two children. 

Nick Thomas, started his swim from Samphire Hoe near Dover at 05:46 on Saturday 27th August 2016. After approximately sixteen hours of swimming, Nick fell unconscious and was removed from the water and received immediate resuscitation from qualified and experienced crew.  The incident occurred at a distance of three quarters of a mile from French shore, in an area between Wissant and Sangatte. Nick was subsequently taken to Calais harbour where he was treated by paramedics, before being transferred to Calais hospital. Medics continued trying to resuscitate him at Calais hospital, but sadly Nick passed away in the early hours of Sunday 28th August 2016.

In preparation for his Channel Swim Nick had completed an Assessment Swim of at least six hours in water sixteen degrees Celsius or under, and had completed a medical examination by a medical doctor to confirm his fitness to attempt the swim.

Nick was a highly experienced ultra-endurance athlete, who became the 19th person to complete the demanding Arch2Arc triathlon in 2014, in 80 hours and 50 minutes including rest breaks. This challenge involves running from Marble Arch in London to Dover, then swimming across the English Channel in a wetsuit (in 15 hours and 34 minutes), and then cycling to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Nick’s family have been in constant contact with the crew on board, who have now returned to the UK. We would like to thank all the crew for their professionalism and care, and also the Foreign Office, who have been handling the issue in France.

Further enquiries by media should be addressed to


May you Rest In Peace

Nick Thomas

28 August 1971 – 28 August 2016

Sandettie Lightship Observations

5pm, 28th September 2020

Water: 62.1 °F (16.7 °C)

Air: 59.4 °F (15.2 °C)

Wind Speed: 18.1 kn (33.5 km/h)

Wind Direction: WNW (300°)

Channel Weather 

Unofficial success on 29 September: 1-way relay Ferry Dodgers, time 12:57, pilot Paul Foreman. Congratulations team!

18 hours ago