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Quadruple amputee swims English Channel

WISSANT, France, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A swimmer with no arms or legs crossed the English Channel in 13 1/2 hours Sunday.

Philippe Croizon, 42, a quadruple amputee, swam the 21 miles from Folkstone, England, to Wissant, France, almost twice as quickly as his team had expected, The Guardian reported.

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He was helped by favorable winds and, said his father, three dolphins joined him for some of the crossing. Gerard Croizon said, "We took that as a sign of good luck."

Croizon had set off at 6:30 a.m. on a swim he expected would take him as much as 24 hours.

The swim was the latest and most spectacular achievement by a man whose limbs were amputated after an electrical accident 16 years ago.

Croizon propels himself with flippers attached to the stumps of his legs, with attachments on his arms helping him steer and a mask and snorkel to breathe. The method lets him average about 2 miles per hour.

Croizon's team says his crossing was the fastest by a disabled swimmer. The record for an able-bodied crossing is now around seven hours, but it was not until the 1970s that swimmers regularly crossed the Channel faster than Croizon.

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