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Woman Dies in English Channel Swim

August 20, 1999

DOVER, England (AP) _ A 41-year-old Mexican woman died Friday while trying to swim across the English Channel, coast guard officials said.

The woman, who was not identified, got into trouble about eight miles off the coast of Dover _ more than a third of the way into the 21-mile crossing to France. The crew of the Channel Swimming Association’s boat, which was escorting the swimmer across the channel, made the call for help.

``We got a call saying she had got into difficulty,″ said Ted Ingham, watch officer for the Dover coast guard. ``Dover lifeboat got to her in 20 minutes and brought her back to shore.″

But attempts by the lifeboat crew and paramedics to revive the swimmer failed, and the woman, who was about six hours into the crossing, was pronounced dead, Ingham said.

The Mexican woman was one of four people who set off separately Friday to cross the channel. Ingham said it is common for a number of unconnected attempts to be made on the same day as swimmers must wait for weather conditions and tides to be right. All attempts are monitored by the Channel Swimming Association.

The other three swimmers had not yet completed the crossing, but all were reported fine.

``There have been some deaths in the past but these are very rare,″ said Colin Mulvana, operations manager for the Dover coast guard.

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