Susan Taylor died Sunday afternoon attempting to swim the English Channel between Britain and France for a charity event. The 34-year-old accountant from the United Kingdom was attempting to raise money for a children’s hospice and Diabetes UK.
The Facebook page created to support the fundraiser, Create a Ripple Channel Swim — Susan Taylor said that she died unexpectedly near the end of the event:
“Whilst attempting to swim the English Channel yesterday my sister Susan collapsed suddenly in the water. She was immediately recovered from the water and treated on the support boat. She was then air lifted by helicopter to a hospital in Boulogne [France]. Susan tragically passed away. Thank you for your messages of support. Please respect the family’s privacy whilst they come to terms with what has happened. If you would like to leave a sign of respect please feel free to donate to her fund raising page.”
Her brother David, who is a paramedic, pulled her into the boat and gave her emergency treatment. Her husband Stephen was reportedly also present to provide moral support.
Taylor’s 68-year-old father Arthur Wright told The Daily Mail that he was devastated and that she was a highly experienced thrill seeker who had done wing-walking, parachuting, and rally driving.
It still isn’t clear why Susan Taylor died. The water was clear, and her collapse was sudden.
A BBC report said that Taylor was highly trained and had even quit her job to practice swimming for up to six hours a day.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, donations have poured in to honor her memory — soaring from less than £3000 ($4,500) before Susan Taylor died to more than £20,000 (over $30,000) afterwards.
[photo Susan Taylor via Facebook]