When life gives you lemons … GO SWIM THE CHANNEL!

At the age of 25, Jim was a hardworking mechanical engineer, motorbike racer and rugby player. Everything was looking up until a freak work accident on 27th July 2015 left him paralysed from the waist down with multiple vertebrae fractures, numerous prolapsed discs, a spinal cord compression and a brain haemorrhage. 

Jim lost his job, relationship, house and his sporting potential and found himself bed-bound, not even able to go to the toilet by himself. Deep depression led to him attempting suicide – twice. He could have given up, but decided to fight back. Twice weekly hydrotherapy sessions sparked his love affair with the water, rendering him weightless and becoming the only time where he was truly pain free.  Given the severity of his injuries he should have been paralysed for life, but he used his mental resilience over a period of three years to learn to walk again. 

He went from struggling to walk and swimming one length of a 30m pool to taking on a 10km Lake District swim across Coniston Water to swimming the English Channel and then to swimming from Jersey to France and back to Jersey in 2022, a total distance of 65 km over 16 hours with best friend Simon Hagger. A remarkable achievement. 

Now a full-time Swim Coach and men’s mental health advocate, Jim uses his passion and experience to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone. He also has a huge passion for conserving the oceans, lakes and rivers that helped him to heal and he will be helping Big Blue Foundation to do exactly that. In 2024 we are joining forces to create an inspiring range of water and land-based conservation challenges for our supporters….