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Channel Swimmers

Braving the English Channel: Captain Matthew Webb and Beyond

Since the 1870s, brave and talented swimmers from across the world have endeavered to swim the English Channel. 

The first recorded attempt took place on  August 24th 1875 when Captain Matthew Webb dived off the end of Admiralty Pier in Dover. Webb was to become the first person to complete an unaided swim across the English Channel. In the years since 1875, thousands of intrepid swimmers have successfully swum the distance between Dover and Calais.

Dover Museum's Online Resource Collection

 Intrigued to find out more about the Channel swimming phenomenon? Interested in learning more about some of the figures who have swam the channel? Dover Museum is proud to present this extensive and fascinating online resource dedicated to the Channel Swimmers. Read on to discover how Channel Swimming developed from Webb in 1875 to modern day swimmers in 2014.

Please also check out Channel Swimming Online Image Collection for a vast selection of archival images of Channel swimmers throughout the years.

Please note, whilst the Collection is vast and detailed, unfortunately it cannot be an exhaustive account of all Channel Swimming attempts. Many people have swam the Channel over the years and the Collection aims instead to give a flavour of the Channel Swimming phenomenon.

A photograph of Captain Matthew Webb, the first swimmer to swim the English Channel. The photograph was issued as a supplement to the Dover Standard newspaper.

 

 

 

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