Channel tragedy 'one mile from end'
A British woman who died while attempting to swim the English Channel for charity collapsed just one mile from the French coast.
Susan Taylor, 34, was swimming under the guidance of the Channel Swimming Association, which officially authorises attempts, when she got into difficulty at about 5.30pm on Sunday.
She was pulled from the water and on to a support boat by her brother David, a paramedic, who battled to save her life before she was taken to hospital in nearby Boulogne-sur-Mer, where she was later pronounced dead.
Supporters who were following Mrs Taylor's progress through a tracker link on her Facebook page began to leave concerned messages when the updates stopped and the boat appeared to travel off course.
One message said: "Any news Susan Taylor? Can't seem to get any track since 6.30?" Another read: "Really hope your ok susan, everyone is thinking about you and hoping your safe!! please let us no somebody (sic)."
As news of her death emerged, donations to Mrs Taylor's Virgin Money Giving fundraising page, where she said she was taking on a challenge "tougher than Everest", reached more than £13,000.
Speaking from the family home in Barwell, Leicestershire, Arthur Wright, Mrs Taylor's father, revealed that his son had battled to save her life and that her husband Stephen was also on the boat.
He said: "David was with her and he was the paramedic, he tried to help. He pulled her on to the boat."
A message posted by Mrs Taylor's brother on her Facebook page said: "Whilst attempting to swim the English Channel yesterday my sister, Susan, collapsed suddenly in the water. She was immediately recovered from the water and treated on the support boat. She was then airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Boulogne.
"Susan tragically passed away. Thank you for your messages of support. Please respect the family's privacy whilst they come to terms with what has happened. If you would like to leave a sign of respect please feel free to donate to her fund raising page."