First Brit to beat swim marathon

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A RECORD-breaking swimmer who trains in Hucknall battled treacherous currents and shark-infested waters to become the first Briton to swim the Molokai Straits in Hawaii.

Adam Walker (pictured after completing the swim), who hones his skills at Hucknall Leisure Centre, is only the 23rd person ever to have completed the crossing, which is dubbed the ‘world’s toughest swim’. He even had to contend with highly-poisonous Portuguese man o’war jellyfish during the epic 17-hour swim.

Adam (33) said: “The record for the crossing is 12 hours and eight minutes but after eight-and-a-half hours the current started to go against me.

“Then it moved sideways and I kept getting pushed further and further down the coast.”

Although the crossing is 26 miles, the strong current meant Adam ended up swimming 37 miles and he had to complete the last part of the swim in the dark.

At one point he was stung by a Portuguese man o’war.

He said: “I felt a terrible burning and I nearly leapt out of the water.

“I was given an antihistamine but it made me sick.

“Then I had to pull two tentacles off me and lost feeling in my lower spine.”

Adam, who lives in Huthwaite, is no stranger to gruelling challenges having already completed swims across the English Channel and the Straits of Gibraltar with fellow swimmer Chris Sheppard, from Blidworth.

He is now well on his way to completing the Oceans Seven Challenge, which sees swimmers tackle seven of the world’s toughest crossings.

“I’m hoping to be the first British person to complete it,” he said.

Now Adam, who was supported by three sponsors, is preparing for his next swim when he will take on the 21-mile Catalina Channel near California in October.

As part of the challenge, Adam is raising funds for Sports Aid and the Whale and Dophin Conservation Society. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/swimming4whales or www.justgiving/molokaistraitswim.