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History of Channel swimming between Calais and Dover

The first person to swim the English Channel was not Captain Webb. It was an American adventurer called Captain Paul Boyton three months earlier. But because he wore a life preserving inflatable suit he could not be classed as swimming unaided so history now honours Captain Webb as the first.Boyton crossed from Boulogne to Fan Bay, St Margaret's-at-Cliffe, in May 1875, taking 23-and-a-half hours and meeting a porpoise four miles from Dover. Details are in a permanent exhibition recently opened at Dover Museum, charting the history of Channel swimming.

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