Wells resident Alan Jackson and his valiant team of swimmers braving the English Channel on Saturday were beaten in the end by adverse conditions, just four miles short of the French coast.
The 5-man over 70s relay team, which would have been the oldest to make the crossing, were due to start on 18th August but posponed for several days because of the weather. Saturday looked a better day but by the time the team reached the French side of the channel, the wind was touching a Force 7 Near Gale, with waves 8-10ft high. With the team having already been in the water for 11 hours, it was calculated that another 4-5 hours swimming in the dark would be necessary to make landfall and with the tide now against them, the swimmers risked being carried along the coast away from their destination. Conditions for the support boat were also becoming difficult, with waves breaking across the deck and many of those on-board getting seasick.
Back home in Wells, Alan Jackson said "Actually swimming in those conditions wasn't too bad but the boat and those on board suffered the most. Although it was disappointing, it was the right thing to do to turn back."
Alan has so far raised over £700 for the Wells Shannon Lifeboat Appeal in sponsorship for his part in the swim and we'd like to thank him and the whole team for their brave and remarkable effort in taking on such a challenge.