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Massive search is launched for cross-Channel swimmer trying to swim 27 miles from Dover to Calais

A huge search is under way in the English Channel for someone trying to swim from Dover to Calais unaccompanied.

A helicopter and rescue teams were dispatched to the sea off Kent after the coastguard received a call from a member of the public saying a friend was trying to cross to France.

The 27-mile stretch between Dover and Calais is incredibly dangerous and the world’s busiest shipping lanes. 

A coastguard spokesperson said: ‘At around 12.10pm today HM Coastguard received a call from a member of the public with information that their friend was swimming unaccompanied to Calais from Dover. 

The fastest ever swim across the Channel is a little over seven hours and across the shortest route, measured at 21 miles, great care and planning must be undertaken to avoid shipping containers. The coastguard was alerted that the swim was being undertaken at 12.10pm

The fastest ever swim across the Channel is a little over seven hours and across the shortest route, measured at 21 miles, great care and planning must be undertaken to avoid shipping containers. The coastguard was alerted that the swim was being undertaken at 12.10pm

The RNLI Severn class lifeboat in the English Channel earlier this month (file photo)

The RNLI Severn class lifeboat in the English Channel earlier this month (file photo)

‘Coastguard rescue teams from Deal and Langdon, an RNLI lifeboat from Dover and a coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd have been sent.

‘Vessels in the area have been asked to keep a sharp lookout and Kent Police, Dover Port Police and Dover Port have been informed. The search is ongoing.’

The incident is not related to migrant crossings. 

Air temperatures in Dover on Monday afternoon were about 17C with winds of up to 10mph, according to the Met Office.

The fastest swim across the Channel is a little over seven hours and across the shortest route, measured at 21 miles, great care and planning must be undertaken to avoid shipping containers. 

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