On This Day

Matthew Webb

Long Distance Swimmer Matthew Webb

Profession: Long Distance Swimmer

Nationality:
England
English

Why Famous: Webb made the first recorded swim across the English Channel without artificial supports.

In 1875 he swam from the Admiralty Pier at Dover to near Calais in approximately 21 hours and 40 minutes, becoming an instant celebrity and now professional swimmer. Webb now performed a variety of further stunts.

These took him to the US and culminated in an effort to swim the Whirlpool Rapids on the Niagara River near the Niagara Falls. After succeeding in the first part of the swim Webb succumbed to the powerful swell at the entrance to the Whirlpool and drowned.

Born: January 19, 1848
Birthplace: Dawley, Shropshire, England
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: July 24, 1883 (aged 35)
Cause of Death: Drowned in the Niagara Falls whirlpool

Articles and Photos

Historical Events

  • 1875-08-25 Captain Matthew Webb makes the 1st observed and unassisted swim across the English Channel in 21 hours and 45 minutes

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Famous Swimmers