Channel swim was a team effort for West Wratting GP

RELAY SUCCESSFUL: Dr Mig Arbide  was  part of a team of five that swam the English Channel.
RELAY SUCCESSFUL: Dr Mig Arbide was part of a team of five that swam the English Channel.

Four weeks after a strong tide forced him to abandon a solo attempt to swim the English Channel, Dr Mig Arbide returned to complete the challenge in a relay team.

The GP, a partner at the Granta Medical Practices, working primarily at the Linton Health Centre, was one a team of five who swam the 21 miles across the Channel in 17 hours, having set off at 2am on September 23.

The team changed swimmer every hour and Dr Arbide, 47, who lives in West Wratting, spent four hours in total in the Channel - more than any other team member - and swam a further 400 metres at the end.

Writing for the Linton News, he described the final stages of the swim, saying: “After fifteen hours, having seen the sunrise, a seal and many ferries and tankers, we were very close but the tide was so strong that we were drifting north towards the ferry terminal in Calais, and the pilot was quite worried he may have to stop the swim.

“Most of us had not slept for nearly 36 hours, so were getting a bit tired but we had to swim hard every relay, to try to break the tide.

“Finally we got through to shallow waters and a lovely sandy beach appeared.

“We were given permission to follow the teammate doing the 17th hour of swimming with strict instructions not to touch them until they completely cleared the water (or the swim would not count officially).

“We reached the beach, hugged, smiled, then picked the pebble that you are entitled to bring back to England if you swim the Channel, before swimming back to the boat and swiftly heading back in the three hour journey, this time in a straight line!

“A fantastic team event and I have decided not a Channel swim for softies.”

Dr Arbide’s solo Channel swim on August 27, which had to be abandoned after 14 hours in the water, raised £5,000 for Melanoma Focus.