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  1. ITV Report

Elite athlete recovering in NI hospital after sea rescue

Hungarian swimmer Attila Mányoki, with his partner Monika Pais, recovering in hospital. Credit: Ulster Hospital

A long-distance swimmer from Budapest in Hungary is recovering in hospital in Northern Ireland, after narrowly failing in a bid to swim seven of the most dangerous waters in the world.

Attila Mányoki had to be pulled from the sea on Saturday, as he neared the end of the North Channel during his Oceans Seven challenge.

The 43-year-old was suffering from hypothermia, jellyfish stings and breathing difficulties.

He is now recovering in the Ulster Hospital in Belfast.

Consultant Dr Bob Darling said: “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.

– Dr Bob Darling, Ulster Hospital

Attila’s partner Monika Pais, who is by his bedside, praised the staff in the Ulster Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

“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.”

If Attila had completed his North Channel swim, he would have become only the 12th person to ever complete the Oceans Seven.

He swam through the English Channel in 2013, and then the Tsugaru Strait of Japan - regarded as the most difficult waterway in the world - in 2014.

Those challenges were followed up with the Molokai Channel in Hawaii, the Catalina Channel near Los Angeles, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Cook Strait in New Zealand.

Last November, Attila became a member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in California.