Hungarian swimmer recovering in NI hospital after North Channel attempt

A Hungarian man is recovering at a Belfast hospital after attempting to swim the Irish Sea.

Thursday, 9th August 2018, 5:41 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 2:54 am
Attila Mnyoki with his partner Monika Pais

Attila Manyoki, 43, was tantalisingly close to the Scottish coast when he had to be plucked from the water on Saturday.

He had set off from Donaghadee, Co Down, earlier that day.

The experienced swimmer, from Budapest, was suffering from hypothermia, jellyfish stings and breathing difficulties when he was taken from the water.

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He was taken to the Ulster Hospital where he has been treated in the Intensive Care Unit.

Consultant Dr Bob Darling said Mr Manyoki is very fit and strong, but was in a "very poor condition" when he was rescued.

"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," he said.

Mr Manyoki's partner Monika Pais said he has received wonderful care at the Ulster Hospital.

"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 North Channel - between Northern Ireland and Scotland - has been recognised as one of the most challenging swims in the world.

It was one leg of the Ocean's Seven challenge.

Mr Manyoki has already swum most of the stages of the challenge including La Manche in 2013 and the Tsugaru Strait of Japan in 2014.

Had he completed the North Channel, he would have become only the 12th person ever to complete the Ocean's Seven.

In June, London doctor Nicholas Murch became the first person of 2018 to successfully swim from Northern Ireland to Scotland.

Almost 50 people were due to attempt the feat this summer.

The swim is only possible during the summer months when the waters are slightly warmer.