North Channel swim planned

A Dutch man is planning to swim the North Channel from Ireland to Portpatrick this month.

Milko van Gool will land in Portpatrick on July 29 after making an epic swim across the 35 kilometres (21.7 miles) North Channel, to raise funds for the Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust.

In 2011 Milko van Gool swam across the English Channel in just over 10 hours. In February this year, he swam 23.5 kms across Lake Malawi, setting a new record of under nine hours. The North Channel is one of the most demanding long-distance swims in the world and Milko calls it “the biggest challenge of my life”.

The water in the North Channel is colder than the English Channel, the currents are stronger and there are more jellyfish.

Milko works for the European Union in Malawi, Central Africa, where there is no cold training water. But that doesn’t worry him. “After all,” he says, “I prepared most of my English Channel swim in Bangladesh, which is even hotter than Malawi.”

The Chauncy Maples Malawi Trustwill provides free treatment for TB, HIV-AIDS, malaria, maternity care, child immunisation and family planning.

For more information go to www.thebigswim.org.uk or www.chauncymaples.org or to donate go to www.justgiving.com/milkovangool