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Channel tragedy as fundraising swimmer dies a mile from French coast

By Ruth Lumley and Lucy Bogustawski

A 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.

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 on the boat.

Mr Wright (68) added: "I'm devastated. I've lost the best person in the world."

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