Channel swim raises thousands for animal rescue charity

Mike Latham from East Preston swam the Channel for the WADARS charity SUS-160308-092502001
Mike Latham from East Preston swam the Channel for the WADARS charity SUS-160308-092502001

A man from East Preston has completed a solo swim across the English Channel in order to raise funds for charity.

Mike Latham, 48, of Manor Road, took on the challenge whilst raising money for Worthing animal rescue charity, Wadars.

He set off from the Dover area on Sunday morning and completed the swim in the early hours of Monday morning after 21 hours in the water.

He battled the elements and arrived on the beach in France at about 4am on Monday, completing the last six hours in complete darkness.

Mike, who works for the NHS in its mental health service, said: “I decided to do the challenge in aid of Wadars because I keep a range of animals myself and am passionate about them, their welfare and about any animals in distress that are needing help.

He battled the strength of the tide, eels, seals, tankers, nets and sea weed before finally achieving his dream of swimming the Channel on his own.

Friends and family were kept updated by up-to-date posts on Mike’s Facebook page as well as his sponsorship page.

Many of the posts labelled Mike as a “legend” and a “champion” for completing this enormous challenge.

Wouter Ardern posted at 3.58am saying: “Mike Latham is on the beach in France. 21 hours on the nose. Total total respect. Mike has officially fulfilled his dream to swim the English Channel”.

Mike has currently raised over £3,500 for Wadars and is hoping that figure will continue to rise to several thousands of pounds as he helps fund the charity’s work in rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, and rehoming companion animals.

The 21 hours and two minute marathon was not Mike’s first long-distance open-water swim.

He took up long distance swimming in 2012 when he entered the Arun Ironman swim and, since then, he has taken part in several events including a team relay across the Channel and the Zurich Marathon which involves swimming the length of Lake Zurich (26.5k).

After three years of dedicated training, Mike has now achieved one of his dreams.

Anyone wishing to make a donation towards Mike’s enormous Channel challenge and Wadars animal rescue charity can do so via his Virgin money giving page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MIKELATHAM5.

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