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Aussie teen completes 'dream' Channel swim

Date

Adam Cooper

Lochie Hinds after completing the swim.

Lochie Hinds after completing the swim.

A 16-year-old boy has swum the English Channel, becoming the youngest Australian male to complete one of the world's most prestigious open-water swims.

Lochie Hinds, from Sydney, made it to English soil at Dover about 7.30am AEST this morning (about 10.30pm Thursday local time), 12 hours and 22 minutes after leaving the French city of Calais.

Lochie had his parents and best friend in a support boat at his side for the duration of the 34-kilometre swim, which he completed in 12-degree water.

On his website, Lochie said he first fell in love with ocean swimming and when aged nine he competed in Sydney's famed Cole Classic, which starts every year from Manly. He won the Classic's nine-kilometre race this year.

"People ask why I would think of swimming the English Channel and my only answer is because it's my dream," Lochie says on his website.

"I want to become the youngest Australian male to ever complete the channel. I am an ordinary Aussie boy with one goal. To be the best I can be."

Lochie, from Normanhurst in Sydney's outer north-west, is a surf-lifesaver at Bondi and lists among his interests playing the trumpet, the movies, "although my favourite pastime is eating and sleeping".

Before his swim Lochie raised $3000 for the Westpac Life Saver rescue helicopter.

Westpac Life Saver spokesman Andrew Hewitt said Lochie began swimming from Calais at 9am Thursday local time, wearing a hat, goggles, grease and earplugs.

‘‘He stopped halfway vomiting from exhaustion and hunger, but after a whinge, got a second wind and powered on,’’ he said.

Lochie’s success comes less than a week after Queensland grandmother Penny Palfrey unsuccessfully tried to swim unassisted from Cuba to Florida.

Palfrey had to be pulled from the water after swimming for more than 40 hours as she was unable to cope with a strong current.

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