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.

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4 years ago

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

4 years ago

He’s dead and that the way it is.

Reply to  Menzies
4 years ago

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

Reply to  Menzies
4 years ago

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

4 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.

Reply to  Windancinginthemoonlight
4 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.

Reply to  Windancinginthemoonlight
4 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
4 years ago

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

Reply to  William Lee
4 years ago

William, no.

Reply to  William Lee
4 years ago

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

Calvin Hammer
4 years ago

So sad…

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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, …

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