Nick Thomas Dies While Attempting English Channel Crossing

Endurance athlete Nick Thomas has died while attempting to swim across the English Channel. He was not wearing a wet suit.

According to the Channel Swimming Association, there have been 2,073 successful swims of the English Channel since 1875, including 72 so far in 2016.

But that shouldn’t fool anyone into thinking that it’s an easy feat.

Thomas had been swimming for about 16 hours, the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation (another organization that certifies these swims) said.

He was pulled onto an escort vessel .75 miles short of completing the 21+mile swim. The crew of the boat administered CPR and was met by an ambulance at the harbor in Calais, France. He was later pronounced dead in a hospital.

Thomas, an Englishman, successfully completed a swim across the Channel in 2014.

Thomas was a well-known figure in the endurance athletics community. He was an Ironman and Ultraman triathlete.

Temperatures in the Channel this time of year range from 14 to 18 degrees Celcius (57 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit). Thomas was 45.

54
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
54 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
XSCRAZYMOM
5 years ago

So sad. Prayers for his family. May Nick rest in peace

Menzies
Reply to  XSCRAZYMOM
5 years ago

He’s dead and that the way it is.

swimmermama
Reply to  Menzies
5 years ago

Swimswam, You should really delete these obvious troll comments. They have no place on an article about a man losing his life.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Menzies
5 years ago

U are not at the MINT 400 here – this is a swimming site , not a trick/truck site .

Windancinginthemoonlight
5 years ago

So sorry to hear that such a gifted athlete lost his life, but I was thinking it could have been prevented if he had taken more precautions. like a wetsuit or not not swimming for 16 hours. At any rate, it is disheartening, but I suppose it was in keeping with what he enjoyed doing.

CoachDave
Reply to  Windancinginthemoonlight
5 years ago

He was looking to do the swim in a way that counted it officially this time. Channel swims have specific rules for swim costume just like pool swimming.

Allen
Reply to  Windancinginthemoonlight
5 years ago

To qualify as a channel crossing you are NOT allowed to wear a wetsuit. You also can’t just stop after awhile and rest in a boat. Those are the qualifying rules. It is not intended to be easy.

William Lee
Reply to  Allen
5 years ago

Well…. Seems it’s time to make such stupid things ILLEGAL!

Autumn
Reply to  William Lee
5 years ago

William, no.

James
Reply to  William Lee
5 years ago

It’s fully voluntary. Same as rock climbing, sky diving and many other things that involve risk

Calvin Hammer
5 years ago

So sad…

Micahel
5 years ago

Hypothermia? Heart attack?

Nafees
Reply to  Micahel
5 years ago

it must be Heart Attack..

Carl
5 years ago

100% Preventable. Condolences to his family and those that loved him

Sherry
5 years ago

Prayers for his family

BeBop4000
5 years ago

This man died doing what he wanted. HOWEVER, his was a preventable death that only needed his cooperation for a successful outcome. #1- A Wet suit. Even Superman does not survive an English Channel swim without a wetsuit on. #2- Your choices in a Support Crew were not good ones. Someone should have been there able to recognize signs of trouble BEFORE you coded in the water . #3- The goal of ANY water sport, much like the shift of a working policeman, is to go home to your family when done, ALIVE. Therefore, heroically participating in endurance sports means diddidilysquat if you are not around at the end to enjoy the celebration.

Allen
Reply to  BeBop4000
5 years ago

Comment about it being preventable is premature and not fully informed. Channel crossing rules do not permit a wetsuit. Recognize signs – what signs? Until there is an autopsy it won’t be known if it was preventable. People die driving their car without any warning signs.

Oliver
Reply to  Allen
5 years ago

Swimming twenty miles in open (and cold) water is a little more outside the normal range of human activity than “driving your car”.

pwndecaf
Reply to  Oliver
5 years ago

I think you just made Allen’s point.

Lewis McCorvey
Reply to  Allen
5 years ago

We have to drive unless we live across the street from our place of employment . This was his choice , not a need , but a want . Sad he paid the big price . I have done 8 Ironman races, and know the risks , but I make sure I am prepared .

beesocial
Reply to  BeBop4000
5 years ago

can’t wear a wetsuit for this swim, t’s not allowed by the CSA, if he had and completed, it wouldn’t have counted, similar to his previous attempt in 2014.

Swimmer1
Reply to  BeBop4000
5 years ago

100%agree.

Suzie Dods
Reply to  BeBop4000
5 years ago

A wetsuit is NOT a requirement for a successful Channel swim. 1000’s of people have swum the channel, withOUT a wetsuit. In fact, it is not a certified swim if you wear one. People have swum over 24 hours, withOUT wetsuits. In fact, just a couple of years ago, a man died while wearing a wetsuit.The crew is trained, in CPR, first aid and incredibly experienced. These things happen, not often, but they happen. It’s sad, it’s so sad but please don’t go spouting off about what could have/should have if you weren’t there and or if you don’t have knowledge of the open water and English Channel swimming specifically.

Tracie
5 years ago

This is very sad, He was so young… My thoughts and Prayers go out to his Family and friends… My Gramma Made the swim back in 24 I believe… and later the Santa Monica to Catalina Swim…

Jenny
Reply to  Tracie
5 years ago

This man was swimming in cold water for 16 hours….most likely he was experiencing signs of distress, but really wanted to complete the swim, so ignored them.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »