Linton GP channels his efforts into aquatic charity challenge

Dr Mig Arbide after swimming the 15km Bocaida crossing between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura last August
Dr Mig Arbide after swimming the 15km Bocaida crossing between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura last August

A GP from West Wratting will be looking to pull off the feat of a lifetime when he attempts to swim the English Channel.

Dr Mig Arbide, who works at the Granta Medical Practices, principally in Linton, where he has been a partner since 2002, is taking on the swim to raise funds for Cambridge charity Melanoma Focus.

Should the father-of-three, who also worked for the out-of-hours GP service based in Camps Road, Haverhill, for several years, until it was transferred to Cambridge, manage to swim the channel in the shortest distance possible, he will have to complete 21 miles, a test that he expects will take 15 to 16 hours.

He has been given a slot for the swim between today (Thursday) and Sunday because that is when a boat and a pilot will be available to join him, although he will be alone in the water.

Dr Arbide, 47, only took up long distance swimming three years ago and has been training for the English Channel swim for two years.

He has done a lot of training at Haverhill Leisure Centre with the West Suffolk Swimming Club’s Masters group.

He said “I’ve swum on and off all my life. I grew up by the sea in Spain but I only took it [long distance swimming] up three years ago.

“I did a 5km and then 10km and last year, a 15km swim in the sea – the crossing from Lanzarote to Fuerteventura.

“You need to acclimatise to the cold water and do quite a lot of open water swims and get used to different conditions.

“The main challenges are currents and the cold waters and just hoping that the body and mind keep together to complete the swim, really.”

Dr Arbide, who specialises in skin diseases, added: “I see a lot of people with skin cancer. I’ve looked after patients who have died of it and I’ve one or two relatives that have died of it.

“It’s one of those conditions where awareness and picking it up early and getting an early diagnosis is life-saving and at the moment we don’t have a screening process for it like we do with breast or bowel cancer.

“By raising awareness and raising money for primary care research we can make a difference.

“It’s nice to be able to do some good but it’s a big personal challenge.”

To donate to Dr Arbide, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=MigArbide