September 19, 2010 in Nation/World

Amputee takes on English Channel

 

PARIS – A Frenchman whose arms and legs were amputated is attempting to swim across the English Channel using leg prostheses that have flippers attached.

Philippe Croizon’s father said his son is making better-than-expected time in favorable wind conditions – and three dolphins even swam alongside him for a time.

“We took that as a sign of good luck,” Gerard Croizon told the Associated Press on Saturday.

Philippe Croizon, 42, set off from Folkestone on the British side of the English Channel and is expected to reach the French coastline early today, after a journey that might take up to 24 hours.

Croizon’s specially designed leg prostheses, which end in flippers, allow him to propel himself through the water. His truncated upper arms go through the motions of the crawl, and he breathes through a snorkel.

The swimmer lost his arms and legs after suffering an electric shock in 1994 as he stood on a ladder adjusting his television antenna, which touched a power line.

Croizon made headlines in 2007 for parachuting from an airplane. He wrote a book about his experiences called “J’ai decide de vivre” (I decided to live).


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