A swimmer had to end his record attempt for the earliest seasonal English Channel crossing after getting disorientated in the cold water.

Simon Cooke, 47, had set out from Dover yesterday at 4.30am in a bid to break the record.

But after five hours of swimming he was pulled from the sea after becoming disorientated due to the cold. The Brighton man had been raising money for the Amaze charity.

Nicky Bagilhole, fundraising manager for Amaze, said: “It was the skipper’s decision because it became too dangerous.

“Simon became disorientated due to the cold.

“The water is very much colder than it has been in May in previous years so achieving the world record was always going to be a massive challenge.”

She added that his coach and medic, Fiona Southwell, got into the water with him for about five minutes to make an assessment before deciding he should be removed.

The previous record for the earliest swim was set on May 29.

The charity, which is based in Brighton, helps support families of children and young people diagnosed with special educational needs and disabilities.

Mr Cooke has raised almost £10,000 for them.

The failed attempt marks the end of an eventful few days for Mr Cooke who on Friday rescued someone from the sea. He had been conducting a TV interview ahead of the attempt when his coach spotted someone in trouble. Mr Cooke helped the lifeguards tow the man out and emergency treatment was given.

Charity, friends and well-wishers took to social media yesterday afternoon to wish the swimmer a speedy recovery.

Philippa Hodge, said: “They may have stopped your swim, but that hasn’t stopped the donations from coming in, and you will have made a massive difference to families like mine. Some parent carers are at their wits’ end when they contact Amaze - the money you’ve raised translates into a supportive and proactive worker being there for them when they most need it.”

When The Argus called yesterday, Mr Cooke was recovering from the attempt in bed.

The swimmer will make another attempt at the cross Channel swim later in the year.