Quadruple Amputee Swimmer Tackles English Channel, Eyes Next Trip

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Philippe Croizon, a 42-year-old former metalworker swam across the Channel 16 years after losing all his limbs in an electrical accident.


Physical impairments mean nothing to Philippe Croizon.

Despite living with amputated arms and legs, the ambitious 42-year-old conquered the English Channel in 13 hours — by swim. The AP reports that the thrill-seeker expected the mission to last a full day. But he exceeded his expectations, thanks to an overflow of determination.

(More on TIME.com: Should there be age limits on thrill-seeking?)

“You only need to want (something), and then it becomes possible to go beyond your limits,” he told the wire service’s television outlet.

Croizon’s accomplishment was first conceived during his recovery, which stemmed from a 1994 electric shock via a freak television-antenna accident. During that time, he saw a news report referring to the English Channel. Sixteen years later, he crossed the same body of water, using leg prostheses with fins that are tailor-made for swimming.

Next up on Croizon’s list — Europe to Africa via the Strait of Gibraltar. While that trek is shorter than the English Channel, its potent currents pose a new twist.