Matthew Webb


October 18, 2021

Matthew Webb (19 January 1848 Dawley, England - 2 July 1883 Niagara Falls, USA) was a British sea captain who became known as the first person to cross the English Channel by swimming. In May 1879, Webb won the English Swimming Championships.

Channel crossing

Webb's first attempt to cross the English Channel took place on August 12, 1875. Due to unfavorable weather conditions, the company was suspended after swimming for seven hours.source? 21 hours and 45 minutes later, he landed on the opposite bank of the canal in Calais, France. He thus became the first person to cross the English Channel without aids. Due to tidal fluctuations, the swimming distance accumulated almost 63 kilometers during the record.


Dressed in a fiery red silk swimsuit, Webb dived into the Whirlpool Rapids rapids of Niagara River on July 2, 1883, at about 4:25 p.m., from a boat in the middle of it, intending to fold a 1.6-mile-long rapids by swimming. At first, the attempt seemed successful, but after a few minutes, the strong vortices of the rapids sucked Webb under the surface. His dilapidated body was found four days later, about five miles down the river. Sources

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