Woman dies in Channel swim

A British woman has died while attempting to swim the English Channel for charity, the Foreign Office said.

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Coach: Susan died from 'total fatigue' in Channel swim

The coach who was with Susan Taylor when she died swimming the Channel, said that "total fatigue" was the cause.

She had been swimming for more than 16 hours, covering 30 miles, when she collapsed in the water.

Donations to the charities for which she was fundraising have passed £60,000.

ITV News correspondent Juliet Bremner reports:

VIDEO: Fellow swimmers pay tribute to Susan Taylor

Channel swimmers training in Dover today say they will continue despite the death of a woman in her 30s. Susan Taylor died after swimming for 16 hours. Her death is being investigated.

The quickest route is from South Foreland near Dover to Cap Gris Nez near Calais, a distance of 21 miles, but the strong currents mean most people end up swimming much further.

Under the rules of cross channel swimming, wetsuits are not allowed which means the cold is one of the biggest obstacles, with temperatures as low as 13 degrees C.

Nashreen Issa reports and speaks to swimmers Kathy Batts, Sarah Dunstan, Sue Croft and record holders Clive Holder and Kevin Murphy.

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Donations for Channel swimmer charities hit £59,000

Susan Taylor has now raised more than £59,000 for Diabetes UK and Rainbows children's hospice Credit: Virgin Money

The charity donations for Susan Taylor, a swimmer who died while attempting to cross the English Channel, are now over £59,600.

Mrs Taylor was raising funds for Rainbows Children's Hospice and Diabetes UK.

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Father 'devastated at loss of wonderful daughter'

Speaking at the family home Susan Taylor's father, 68-year-old Arthur Wright, spoke movingly of his daughter.

"I'm devastated. I've lost the best person in the world. She was just wonderful."

Mr Wright said his daughter had given up her full-time job to carry out charitable work and was working part-time as an accountant.

She had also done wing-walking and a parachute jump, and was a qualified rally driver."She was certainly not a boring accountant," he said.

Mr Wright revealed that his paramedic son David, Mrs Taylor's brother, was on the boat at the time of the swim and battled to save her life.

"David was with her and he was the paramedic, he tried to help.

"He pulled her on to the boat."

Also on the boat was Mrs Taylor's husband, her coach who has been training her since she was eight years old, and a support swimmer.

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David Walliams: Susan's Channel attempt a 'tragedy'

David Walliams has tweeted about Susan Taylor's attempt to swim the English Channel describing her death as a "tragedy".

The comedian swam the Channel himself in 2006 raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.

Coach: 'Susan was always smiling and enthusiastic'

Coach of swimmer Susan Taylor. Credit: ITV News

The coach of Susan Taylor, who died in a charity swim across the Channel, said in a press conference that she was "always smiling".

He said: "Susan was always smiling and was fully enthusiastic, whilst never being a champion. I could always rely on her physical strength to give 150 percent.

"She was a very big team player."

Read: Channel swimmer donations rise

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