On 30 July 2013, long-distance swimmer Milko van Gool swam across the North Channel. It is one of the most demanding swims in the world; Milko is only the fifteenth person to swim the 35 kilometres (21.7 miles). Milko completed the swim in 10 hours and 34 minutes, making him the fastest ever male swimmer to cross the North Channel.
Big Swims are often done to raise money and publicity for a good cause. Milko's cause was the Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust which is renovating Africa's oldest motor ship, the MV Chauncy Maples, back into a clinic for Lake Malawi.
Milko works in Malawi and knows first-hand Malawi's health care system needs support. The average life expectancy in Malawi is just 50 years and the country has only 250 doctors for its population of 15 million. In many villages around Lake Malawi there are no clinics. The only way to reach a clinic is by dug-out canoe, risking dangerous currents, storms and crocodiles.
You can still support Milko - and the Chauncy Maples - by making a donation via Just Giving. Milko has funded all the costs of The Big Swim himself, so all donations will go to the charity.