Major Jason Zirganos. Greece.

Major Jason Zirganos. Greece.

Major Jason Zirganos after his record swim from Dungeness Point to Folkstone.

Major Jason Zirganos first swam the channel on the 18th.Sept 1949 when the Channel Swimming Association had not re-formed after the Second World War. The swim is recorded in the book called “Across the Strait” printed by “The Dover Express” He started from Cap-Gris-Nez and landed at Langden Stairs (between the eastern arm and St. Margarets Bay); his time was 18hrs 45mins. This swim is not recorded in the Channel Swimming Association Handbook.

He swam the English Channel successfully four times, all swims were France to England. The first in 1949 was recognised independantly, his 1950  and 1951 were both recognised by the Daily Mail, the 4th. swim was recognised by Billy Butlin. In 1959 he attempted the North Channel (Ireland to Scotland) and  he swam for 16hrs.23mins. and was 3 miles from the Scottish Coast when he was taken from the sea exhausted. He died within minutes. A Doctor performed an emergency operation with a pen-knife but could not restore the Heart-beat.

From the Sam Rockett collection. A Black and White Photograph.

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