London Spy

Olympic mania blamed for Brit’s impromptu attempt to swim Atlantic

London Spy

View photo


A Londoner holidaying in Biarritz was rescued at sea after spontaneously deciding to swim the Atlantic.

The Daily Mail reported that the unnamed 34-year-old told his friends on the beach that he had decided to spread the Olympic spirit across the pond by swimming to New York.

They didn't take his plans seriously, but before they knew it he had cleared the 300-yard limit on swimming marked out by the buoys on the beach in Biarritz.

Despite being out of sight of the lifeguards from the beach, he still had the best part of 3595 miles to go until the Statue of Liberty came into view.

Lifeguards grew more concerned and sent out a helicopter and diver to find him and convince him to come back.

Despite initially insisting he was a strong swimmer and knew what he was doing, he was eventually brought back to the coast.

"Our diver explained that swimming to America was not a good idea," gendarme Laurent  Saintespes told the AFP news agency. "He replied that he was a good swimmer and was in good condition."

"It's a bit of a crazy story," Saintespes, who is based at the Biarritz airport, added. "You have to have a sense of humour when the Olympics are on in London."

View comments (414)