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Quadruple amputee swims across English Channel

September 20, 2010 | 11:12 am


Philippe Croizon, a quadruple amputee from France, has successfully swum across the English Channel.

The Associated Press reports that Croizon, 42, departed from Folkestone on the British side of the channel and arrived near the French town of Wissant late Saturday. At the narrowest point, the crossing is about 21 miles, and Croizon had expected the effort to take as long as 24 hours to complete. However, he finished in about 13 1/2 hours.

"I did it. I'm happy, I'm so happy, I can't believe it. It's crazy," Croizon told France-Info radio on his arrival.

Croizon lost his arms and legs in a 1994 electrical accident when a television antenna he was adjusting while standing on a ladder touched a power line.

His specially designed prosthetic legs end in flippers, which allow him to propel himself through the water while using his upper arms in the motions of the crawl. He breathes using a snorkel.

During a portion of the crossing, Croizon was joined by a trio of dolphins.

"We took that as a sign of good luck," said Croizon's father, Gerard.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Philippe Croizon swims off La Rochelle, France, on May 27. Credit: Pierre Andrieu / AFP/Getty Images