DOVER, ENGLAND – Faced with strong waves just kilometers from reaching the French shore, 70-year-old Toshio Tominaga of Hiroshima on Wednesday abandoned his attempt to become the oldest Japanese person to swim the English Channel.
“I want to do my best and challenge myself next year,” Tominaga said later in a suburb of Dover, on the southern English coast.
He spent more than 12 hours in the water after setting off from the shore near Dover early Wednesday morning. “I wasn’t moving forward because of the growing waves and winds,” he said.
Though the channel is only around 34 km at its narrowest, tidal currents typically make the distance 40 to 50 km for swimmers.
The oldest person to swim the English Channel is Roger Allsopp, who made the swim at 70 years and four months old in 2011, according to Guinness World Records.