Report by Stuart Gleeson, Pilot of Sea Leopard.
A cool clear dry night with little wind. Stuart Adams was crewman for this trip, Steve Franks official CSA Observer. I met the swimmers at 2am & they loaded their kit onboard.
The Indian Airforce Relay Team comprises: Ankan Kumar Patel, Yeshwant Narayan Pethkar, Srihari Saripilli and Paramvir Singh. Prakash Arora was also on board.
I pulled Sea Leopard away from the public pontoon at 02:20 and we headed for Samphire Hoe. Ankan prepared to take the first swim at 03:07, as we approached Samphire Hoe. I stopped the boat at 03:14, about 20 metres off the beach.
|Indian Airforce Channel Relay Team|
Ankan jumped off the side of the boat at 03:14 and swam to shore. At 03:15 he was well clear of the water. Steve Franks blew his whistle as a signal to start swimming.
Ankan was making good progress at about 50 spm (strokes per minute).
Srihari was suffering from seasickness and threw up over the side of the boat. Yeshwant started swim at 04:15.
Srihari was next in. At 05:51 a containership went down the SW lane about ½ nm away. Paramvir took over from Srihari at 06:15, we entered the SW shipping lane.
Ankan went in for his second swim at 07:15
Yeshwant in at 08:15. Into the separation zone at 08:57.
Srihari started second swim at 09:15 and entered the NE shipping lane at 09:41.
Paramvir jumped in for another hour at 10:15.
Srihari threw up again at 10:31.
Moonlight passed about 200 yards in front of us at 11:09
Ankan took over from Paramvir at 11:15.
Srihari was swimming at slack water as he approached the end of his hour. Steve Franks suggested to the team that they inform him that he only had ten minutes left, so he should swim as hard as he could. Paramvir said they had done that a few minutes earlier.
Paramvir in at 14:15.
I told Ankan that he would land near Cap Gris Nez if he swam fast enough, but if he didn’t the tide would carry us around the cape and add hours to the swim.
Ankan very close to shore at 15:27, Stuart Adams in dinghy. A couple of minutes later he clambered up a seaweed covered rock and cleared the sea 0.8 nm South of Cap Gris Nez
|Ankan steps onto a rock in France to finish the swim.|