Jack Burwell, Philip Mickman and Willy Van Risjel at Dover Marine Station

Jack Burwell Philip Mickman and (Willie) Willy Van Risjel at Dover Marine Station

Philip Mickman first attempted to swim the channel in 1948 at the age of 17. This attempt was unsuccessful due to poor conditions (after 12 hours in the water). He tried again in the July of 1949, but again conditions were against him. He found himself swimming into a strong wind, and gave up after 13 hours at sea.

His third attempt in August of 1949 was, at last, successful, making him the youngest to have completed the swim at that time. Conditions were not perfect and it took him 23 hours 48min, landing at Kingsdown at 5.33am.

After a spell in the RAF he returned to Dover to complete his ambition, to complete the return journey, swimming from England to France. In September 1952, he achieved this, becoming the youngest man to swim the Channel both ways. Age 21.

(Willie) Willy Croes Van Risjel made three unsuccessful attempts; in 1949 14hrs 15min and 16 hrs 52 min; and in the Daily Mail race 1950, 4 hrs 10 min. She was a very successful Masters Swimmer.

Jack Burwell piloted both swimmers on some of their swims.

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More photos of Mickman, Philip