WYOMISSING, PA (WFMZ) – Tom Bell is gearing up for the swim of a lifetime. He has been training for two years, and six days a week, to swim the 20 mile passage from England to France.
“It can be pretty challenging, particularly for somebody like myself who does not have a strong swimming background,” said Tom.
Tom first got the idea to swim the English Channel nearly two years ago when he heard one of his wife’s residents at the Temple University orthodontic program had done so in a relay.
“When I heard this it sort of inspired me to ask a little bit more about what it would be like to swim the Channel,” said Tom.
Tom soon found out it would be a challenge. You need to contract a boat to escort you across the Channel. The water temperature is in the low 60s, and you are not allowed to ever touch the boat or wear a wet suit.
With the current, the 20 mile course could become closer to 25 miles, and Tom expects it to take him about 14 hours to complete.
Tom said, “There are several major challenges. One is the distance. But another one is hypothermia.”
However, Tom says he’s up for the challenge because he’s doing it to raise money for the “I’m Able Foundation.” The foundation works to promote an active lifestyle for people with disabilities.
“Really some of my fondest memories are from sports,” said Tom. “So it’s really nice to help an organization that would also enable others to get that same enjoyment.”