Northern Ireland news

Hungarian swimmer treated at Ulster Hospital after falling ill during bid to complete the Ocean's Seven challenge

Hungarian long distance swimmer, Attila Mányoki, from Budapest, pictured recovering in the Ulster Hospital in Belfast alongside his partner, Monika Pais
Marie Louise McConville

A Hungarian long distance swimmer was last night recovering in the Ulster Hospital in Belfast after falling ill during his bid to complete the Ocean's Seven challenge - swimming seven of the most dangerous waters in the world.

Attila Mányoki, from Budapest, was plucked from the water on Saturday as he neared the end of the North Channel, suffering from hypothermia, jellyfish stings and breathing difficulties.

Consultant Dr Bob Darling said Mr Mányoki, who is 43, was found to be 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," he said.

The swimmer's partner, Monika Pais, who is by his bedside, praised the staff in the Ulster Hospital's Intensive Care Unit for the care they had given Mr Mányoki.

"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.”

In 2013, the Hungarian sportsman swam through La Manche. The following year, he took on the Tsugaru Strait of Japan, which is regarded as the most difficult waterway of the world.

He then undertook the Molokai Channel in Hawaii, the Catalina Channel near Los Angeles, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Cook Strait in New Zealand.

Had he completed the North Channel, he would have become only the 12th person ever to complete the Ocean's Seven.

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

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