Student’s Channel swim ended in hospital - but was worth it!

Ingrid Laubscher after her relay channel swim.
Ingrid Laubscher after her relay channel swim.

A 17-year-old student has crossed the English Channel in a charity relay swim to bring in £1,500 - but ended up with a night in hospital after the feat.

Balsall Common sixth former Ingrid Laubscher needed stitches for her bone-deep leg wound after completing her three hour relay swim with Diabetes UK - but said it was all still worth every minute.

Ingrid Laubscher with her relay channel swim team. Picture submitted

Ingrid Laubscher with her relay channel swim team. Picture submitted

The fundraiser was chosen as the youngest member of the charity team who made the successful crossing on July 15 in just over 17 hours.

But immediately after getting in the water to complete her three-hour stint, Ingrid cut her leg on the boat which, despite not stopping her from swimming, meant she was left recovering for days after making it back to the UK.

“The strong currents meant it took us 17 hours and 16 minutes, to swim” she said.

“I injured my leg quite seriously the first moment I got into the water, but nonetheless we reached a beach on the coast of Calais.

“It was definitely one of my most challenging experiences but one of the best nights ever. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without such a fantastic team.“

“I was the youngest on my team with the second youngest being 26 years old.

“There was quite a variety in ages but I think that made us a stronger team as we’ve all had different experiences.”

Swimming for around three hours each, the group of six made it from Dover to Calais before being transported back to the British coast where Ingrid was sent for treatment where she stayed for two days until the wounds showed signs of healing.

And the determined swimmer said it has not deterred her in her dreams to swim the distance solo or in a smaller relay in the future.

Considering her options, she said: “I don’t know how far we individually covered but we all swam for at least three hours, apart from the final swimmer who finished the relay for us in France.

“I am considering doing another relay in the future, maybe a four-man relay or a two-way crossing to make it more challenging.”

Ingrid, who attends Stratford Girls’ grammar school, was chosen to swim with the group at a charity selection day in September.

She has since raised over £1,500 for the charity to help fund research and care for those in need.

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