Belfast Telegraph

Hungarian ultra swimmer recovering in Ulster Hospital after North Channel attempt

A Hungarian ultra swimmer is recovering in a Northern Ireland hospital after failing in his bid to finish a race through some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

Attila Manyoki was attempting to complete the Ocean's Seven challenge across the North Channel between Donaghadee, South of Belfast Lough, and Portpatrick in Scotland, regarded as one of the most difficult swims in the world due to changeable weather, jellyfish and low temperatures.

Stretching 18.6 nautical miles - 21.5 normal miles - swimmers are required to make it through tough qualifying swims to ensure they are prepared for the challenge.

Budapest man Attila had to be pulled out of the water after suffering from hypothermia, jellyfish stings, and breathing difficulties.

He is now being cared for in the Ulster Hospital.

Consultant Dr Bob Darling said: "Attila was in very poor condition. However, he is not an average guy, he is very strong and fit and is making a remarkable recovery, although it may be some time before he is fit for further extreme sports."

Attila’s partner Monika Pais, who is by his bedside, praised the staff in the Ulster Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

“I was so relieved that he was given such wonderful care," she said.

“I have watched the staff every day, and they are so professional and caring. The Ulster hospital should be very proud of them.”

The 43-year-old Hungarian has previously tackled some of the world's toughest swims, including La Manche in 2013, and the Tsugaru Strait in Japan in 2014.

Had he completed the swim across the stretch, he would have become only the seventh person to do so.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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