Previous update on first-attempt from Chrissie's swimming coach

"Chrissie set off on her swim at 02:18 on Saturday morning. After a very gruelling 12:20 swim she was pulled out just over 10 miles from the French coast.

A number of factors made the swim much harder but the main one was undoubtedly that the water was very choppy for the first hour and I think she drank a bit too much of the sea and as a result she was unwell.......which made her very tired and ill.

It is easy to think that the only way to gauge success is whether she achieved the goal of getting to the other side - it there is one message I would want to give from Chrissie's swim is that Channel swims are not like that. On another day putting in the work she would have got to the other side. However you can never be sure of what the conditions are going to be like. The forecast that made us go for this earlier and originally planned swim suggested that the conditions were going to be easier. They were not horrendous but they were bad enough to make it much harder for Chrissie. Some days you can swallow quite a bit of sea water and think no more of it that it is rather salty, on another day you swallow the wrong bit and the body revolts. This is whay the Channel swim is such a challenge - you do not know for sure what is going to hit you and whether you can keep going.

What i do know is that Chrissie rose to the challenge magnificently. She demonstrated to everyone of us just how tough, resilient, courageous and hardworking she is. She has had a little time to recover and is now ready to take on the challenge again and is waiting for a slot in the next week or so!"

If you would like to support Chrissie's second attempt then you can donate here.

Further information on the Cross-Channel swim

Chrissie Thirlwell, an oncologist and member of the Association of Cancer Physicians, will again attempt to swim across the English Channel. Chrissie will be raising money for Cancer Research UK, as well as Parents for Children.

Swimming the English Channel, a distance of 21 nautical miles, is no easy option. In fact, the Channel Swimming Association lists only 748 successful Channel swimmers from 1875 to the end of 2006. The fastest took a little over 7 hours and the slowest, nearly 27 hours to cover the distance.

In 2006, around 18 swimmers completed the crossing. The one to gain the most media coverage was David Walliams, of Little Britain fame, who reached France in 10 hours 28 minutes 37 seconds, raising £1,000,000 on the way. Chrissie doesn't expect to match that, but every little helps. You can donate here.

Chrissie and Stephanie beside the pool at Club La Santa, LanzaroteThe success rate for Channel swims is around 60%, so Chrissie is taking her training seriously, as is her swim coach – Parents for Children's Chair, Stephanie Ellis. With 3 months still to go to her attempt, she is up to training distances of 20km, and thinks nothing of spending 7 or 8 hours in a swimming pool! Chrissie recently completed her qualifying swim in Malta where she was swimming for 6 hours in 16 degree open seas. "The jelly fish there were incredibly friendly and I will never forget them!" she says.

When originally asked what she hoped to gain from the experience, Chrissie replies: "Strength and endurance; courage; and, something my patients all need, the ability to face the unknown."

Chrissie will be shadowed by her support crew for the full 21 miles: Stephanie (pilot, swim coach and Parents for Children Chair), Chrissie's dad, Mike (pilot) and Henry (friend and fellow doctor).

Here is Chrissie's previous update before her first attempt

"I have 8 weeks to go until I set off.

Well in the last six weeks my training schedule has changed considerably. From the first weekend in May, I've been training in Dover harbour every day of the weekend. The water was 11°C when we started, we have built up from 35 minutes to our first 6-hour swim in the harbour last weekend. The water is now a balmy 14°C......

There are a group of thirty or so solo-swimmers and also relay team members training. Freda, known as the "Channel General" – decides how long we all do. Here is a picture of Chrissie training in the pool in the twilight.She has been training channel swimmers for 20 years – her daughter Ali Streeter is "Queen of the Channel", having completed 43 crossings, including the only female to complete a 3-way crossing. It is great to have the support, comradeship and encouragement on what can be very difficult sessions. In May we had a total of 10 minutes sun in the harbour for all four weekends, the last bank holiday it was 10°, with force 6 gales and horizontal rain.....

Things are improving now – with the sun making a more regular appearance! In the harbour, we are joined by dinghy sailors, rowers, over-friendly seagulls (one tried to land on my head.....), there is said to be a seal and, of course, the jelly fish. Oh of course, and the cross channel ferries!

My medical and all paperwork is complete now and our crossing is registered with the English and French coastguards. I continue to swim 3 to 4 times mid-week with Stephanie (Ellis). I swim outside, in the Lido mainly. Over the next six weeks I'll continue to build and maintain my endurance both for distance and the cold. I am eating like a horse – a hungry horse at that!

We now swim six hours a day over the weekend. I have a 9 mile race tomorrow (Saturday 16 June), the "Champion of champions". It will be fun to be competing.

I am looking forward to the Big Day now. I have faced a lot of my worries and fears over the last few months and am sure that when the time comes I will really want to get on with it!"