Rick Pulvertaft's channel swim success! - East Cheshire Hospice

Rick Pulvertaft’s channel swim success!

Heroic Rick Pulvertaft felt as though he was swimming against the tide for much of his life.

He lost his parents before he was 24 and both older sisters in the last few years.

So swimming the Channel was a personal triumph for Rick, who raised more than £6,700 for East Cheshire Hospice.

His swim from a beach near Dover to headland between Calais and Boulogne almost did not happen.

Full steam ahead … Rick on his 21-mile crossing.  

Bad weather twice left him stranded on shore before he got the go ahead and completed the 21-mile crossing in just under 13 hours.

Rick, from Macclesfield, said: “It was a roller-coaster ride emotionally as I was at the mercy of the weather.

“Twice I went to Kent to be told it was postponed. I was gutted when the organisers said they’d give me my money back.

“In a twist of fate, a window of good weather opened and it was amazing.

“I described it like a victory parade. The sea was like a piece of glass it was so calm.

“I felt so lucky to swim the Channel and was almost in a trance.

Pic 2 – Rick Pulvertaft ready for his Channel swim.

“I didn’t feel any pain despite swinging my arms around for so long. I’d done all the hard work with my training and nutrition over the last two years, so it wasn’t as difficult as I thought.”

The sense of satisfaction was even greater for Rick after his family’s struggle with alcoholism.

His father Dr Tom Pulvertaft (59) died of liver cirrhosis in 1996; he also lost sisters Kate (56) and Janthea (49) to alcoholism, while nephew Kavan died in 2019 after three years in a coma after he tried to take his own life.

Mum Dee (61) was due to enter the Hospice in 2009 but died of skin cancer before she got there.

Rick, a kitchen designer and salesman, said: “Alcohol has devastated my family and it has been hard watching members of my family slowly kill themselves. The feeling of helplessness is even harder.”

Rick turned to drink for many years but will celebrate two years alcohol-free in December.

He said: “I chose to raise money for the Hospice because they were there for us and ready to help. The work they do for the families of loved ones with life-limiting illnesses is a light in this world that needs our help to keep shining.”

To sponsor Rick visit justgiving.com/fundraising/rick-pulvertaft.


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