Brave Bacup amputee Craig in cross-Channel bid

The Bolton News: Craig Howorth will swim with three other amputees. Craig Howorth will swim with three other amputees.

A NAVY veteran is set to return to the water for an altogether different battle.

Former submariner Craig Howorth spent six years serving in Russia and the Falklands, but his latest challenge will take place a lot closer to home.

The 46-year-old – who lost part of his right leg after a bike accident – will join three other amputees to swim the English Channel in September.

The four swimmers, who all have military backgrounds, will brave bitterly cold sea temperatures to help raise money for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association.

Mr Howorth, from Bacup, has been preparing for the 22.5-mile relay by swimming in Salford Quays.

He said: “Getting used to the water temperature is going to be the biggest problem.

“With the tide the Channel becomes more like 30 or 40 miles and it’s going to be so cold. We’re aiming to do it in 13 hours – that’s the average time.

“The temperature could cause problems with our stumps. They don’t have as much circulation as able-bodied limbs.”

Mr Howorth, who was in the Royal Navy from 1988 to 1995, had his right leg amputated below the knee after an accident at Lee Quarry in 2004 which left him with a broken back.

The father-of-four, now a trail leader at Military Mountain Bikers, based in Stubbylee Lane, said swimming was key to his rehabilitation.

“Swimming was the only thing I could do,” he said. “I started to walk and took it from there.

“I’m probably fit enough to do the swim. I’m in Rossendale Triathlon Club and swam Coniston Water recently.”

The swim is likely to take place on September 21, although they have a week-long window in which to complete depending on the weather. To sponsor Mr Howorth, visit www.justgiving. com/Stephen-White12.

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