Bacup Navy veteran to do watery challenge

First published in News

A NAVY veteran who lost part of his leg in a car crash is set to take on another watery challenge.

Craig Howorth, 46, from Bacup, is in a team of four that will swim the English Channel to raise money for limbless veterans charity BLESMA.

The father-of-four served as a submariner in the Royal Navy from 1988 to 1993, and now works as a trail leader for Military Mountain Bikers.

He lost his right leg below-the-knee in 2006 after a road traffic accident.

He said: “Getting used to the water temperature is going to be the biggest problem.

“With the tide the Channel becomes more like 30 or 40 miles and it’s going to be so cold. We’re aiming to do it in 13 hours – that’s the average time.

“The temperature could cause problems with our stumps. They don’t have as much circulation as able-bodied limbs.”

The group will swim the Channel in September, but in order to be allowed to take on the challenge they have to complete a confirmatory swim – a continuous swim of at least two hours in open water which will take place on Saturday, June 21, from Swimmer’s Beach near Dover.

Mr Howorth, a dad-of-four, has been preparing for the 22.5-mile relay by swimming in Salford Quays.

He said swimming had played a big part in his recovery after the accident.

“Swimming was the only thing I could do,” he said. “I started to walk and took it from there.

“I’m probably fit enough to do the swim. I’m in Rossendale Triathlon Club and swam Coniston Water recently.”

He will be joined on the swim by Stephen White, Jamie Gillespie and Conrad Thorpe. The men will not be allowed to wear wetsuits and have chosen not to wear their prosthetic limbs.

To donate to their cause visit www.justgiving.com/stephen-white12.

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