A British woman raising money for diabetes charity died while attempting to swim across the English Channel.
Susan Taylor from Barwell, Leicestershire, passed away in a Boulogne hospital on Sunday afternoon after getting into “serious difficulty” just a mile off the French coast.
The 34-year-old accountant was doing the 21-mile cross-Channel swim under the guidance of the Channel Swimming Association to raise money for Diabetes UK and Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough.
Her family released a statement through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirming earlier reports that she had “suddenly collapsed” in the water during the final part of her challenge.
Ms Taylor’s father, Arthur Wright, revealed his paramedic son David was on the support boat following her across the English Channel and battled to save his sister’s life after pulling her out of the water.
The support crew radioed for a defibrillator at about 5pm and she was airlifted to hospital in the French town of Boulogne. But by 7pm, the experienced long-distance swimmer was declared dead. The cause of her death is not yet known.
Following her death, her sister said: “Thank you for your messages of support. Please respect the family’s privacy whilst they come to terms with what has happened. If you would like to leave a sign of respect please feel free to donate to her fundraising page.”
By Tuesday morning, more than £50,000 had been donated to Ms Taylor’s fundraising webpage, including a £1,000 donation from Comedian David Walliams, who swam the English Channel for charity in 2006.
Offering condolences to Ms Taylor’s family, Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We are extremely sad to hear of the tragic death of Susan Taylor during her Channel swim, which she organised independently to raise funds for us.
“We have spoken to Susan’s family and have offered our support and our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts are with Susan’s family at this sad time.”

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