1988 was an historic year when the first woman, swimming legend Alison Streeter from London, made a fast and successful crossing. Alison, like Kevin Murphy, went on to complete two more solo swims across the Channel. The very next day after Alison’s first swim, Margaret Kidd became the second woman to swim it, and the first Scot.
The 1990’s saw more attempts, mostly unsuccessful. Perhaps the most heartbreaking was that of Paul Lewis from Dorset, who had to be lifted from the water just over 100m from land on the Antrim coast. Paul returned the following year and completed it.
Another swim of merit was made by Dublin man Colm O’Neill in 2004 in a time of 11 hours 25 minutes. And in 2008, Colleen Blair from Scotland was sucessful in reaching her home shore.
In 2010 Ann Marie Ward from Donegal, after several attempts, completed an amazing endurance swim starting at Islandmagee within Admiralty chart 2198 reaching Scotland in just under 19 hours. Likewise that year, Stephen Redmond from Cork made it across to become the first man to complete the Oceans Seven Challenge. Anna Carin Nordin from Sweden had success in 2013, having started in Scotland and arriving in Northern Ireland. She became the first woman to complete the Oceans Seven Challenge.