St Albans duo raise thousands for charity in channel swim

Doug Plunkett and Jan Morse

Doug Plunkett and Jan Morse - Credit: Archant

Dynamic duo Doug Plunkett and Jan Morse battled cold, choppy conditions and tidal waters to successfully complete a cross-channel relay swim for charity at the weekend.

The St Albans-based twosome were among a six-strong relay team who swam at least three times during the sixteen and a half hour swim from Dover to Calais.

Doug, 55, a soft tissue therapist and movement specialist, and Jan, 63, a swim coach at Nuffield, joined the Sealions team who were raising funds for Aspire, the spinal injuries charity based in Stanmore.

As well as conditions in the water, Jan battled sea sickness on the boat after each swim and in the water and Doug was still shivering half an hour after he got back on the boat.

But it all paid off because the two of them have raised over £5,000 for the charity.

The Sealions set off at midnight on Saturday, boarding Optimist, the boat that would guide them across the Channel.

Each team member swam non wet-suited for the whole crossing. They swam for an hour before the next swimmer took over and each one swam a minimum of three times during the crossing.

Doug was the first to go and jumped from the boat at 12.12am while Jan took over at 3am when the temperatures were at their coldest.

Most Read

Sixteen hours and 38 minutes after the team set out, the last swimmer touched down on Wissant Beach where they were given a warm welcome by locals.

Doug,who runs Moveology, a sports massage and rehabilitation clinic at Fitness First, said: “Support from friends and family has been amazing; some have even called me ‘inspirational’ but the real inspirational people are the patients and staff at Aspire whose dedication to the patients’ rehabilitation is second to none.”

Jan, who was featured in the Herts Advertiser earlier this month when she revealed she had fractured her hip shortly after signing up for the swim at the beginning of this year, added: “While battling waves and nausea, my thoughts went to everyone who would love to be able to do mad things but can’t - this is the least I can do if it encourages non-disabled people to support them and my goodness, they have.”

You can sponsor Doug and Jan by clicking here.