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29 August 2016, 08:12
Tributes are being paid to a dad of two who has died during his cross channel swim after setting off from Dover on Saturday.
Enduroman Ultra Events, which was tweeting his solo progress since leaving Dover early on Saturday, wrote: ``Our friend Nick Thomas left us whilst doing what he loved - he just kept going.
``He'll always be a part of what we do and who we are.''
A spokesman for the governing body, the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation, confirmed a man had died.
On behalf of the CS&PF, it is with great sadness to report the death of Nick Thomas, who passed away in the early hours of Sunday 28th August, following an attempted solo swim of the English Channel.
This is devastating news for the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation and the entire Channel Swimming Community. First and foremost, our thoughts are with Nick, his family and his friends to whom the CS&PF extends our deepest sympathies.
Nick Thomas is survived by his wife and two children.
Nick Thomas, started his swim from Samphire Hoe near Dover at 05:46 on Saturday 27th August 2016. After approximately sixteen hours of swimming, Nick fell unconscious and was removed from the water and received immediate resuscitation from qualified and experienced crew.
The incident occurred at a distance of three quarters of a mile from French shore, in an area between Wissant and Sangatte. Nick was subsequently taken to Calais harbour where he was treated by paramedics, before being transferred to Calais hospital. Medics continued trying to resuscitate him at Calais hospital, but sadly Nick passed away in the early hours of Sunday 28th August 2016.
In preparation for his Channel Swim Nick had completed an Assessment Swim of at least six hours in water sixteen degrees Celsius or under, and had completed a medical examination by a medical doctor to confirm his fitness to attempt the swim.
Nick was a highly experienced ultra-endurance athlete, who became the 19th person to complete the demanding Arch2Arc triathlon in 2014, in 80 hours and 50 minutes including rest breaks. This challenge involves running from Marble Arch in London to Dover, then swimming across the English Channel in a wetsuit (in 15 hours and 34 minutes), and then cycling to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Nick’s family have been in constant contact with the crew on board, who have now returned to the UK. We would like to thank all the crew for their professionalism and care.
May you Rest In Peace Nick Thomas 28 August 1971 – 28 August 2016
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ``We are offering assistance to the family of a British national following his death in Calais, France.''