IT lasted more than 18 hours, left him with an injured shoulder and was described as a “nightmare”.

But after four years in the planning Angus Macfadyen has finally completed his English Channel swim and raised almost £30,000 for charity in the process.

The 39-year-old said the feat left him “so exhausted” he could barely stand after the 18 hour 22 minute swim.

Mr Macfadyen, who lives in Kemp Town, said he was inspired to undertake the epic swim after witnessing first hands the effects of water shortages in Africa through his work as a BBC cameraman.

He initially planned to swim last year in aid of the Lawrences Roundabout Well Appeal, which provides clean water in the developing world.

But he had to abandon the crossing after he was hit by a lorry a month before he was due start the Channel challenge.

After recovering from a broken wrist Mr Macfadyen has now been finally able to take the plunge in aid of the charity.

However his bad luck continued and the swim was far from plain sailing after he got injured and the tide swept him towards Holland.

He said: “You train for the worst. Because of the tide you never know how long the swim will take.

“I was swimming at a real good pace for about six and a half hours when my shoulder gave way.

“I got to the point where I could barley lift my arm out of the water.

“Then I slowed down which meant I missed the tide.

“I ended up going all the way to Holland and then way back up to France.”

His supporters from Brighton Swimming Club Ray Cooper and Fiona Southwell had predicted he would complete the 21 mile journey in about 12 hours but the tide added about six hours to the time.

Recovering at home Mr Macfadyen has previously completed the London Marathon on crutches for charity but said he was planning on having a rest before considering another fundraiser.

He said: “I had just come through a nightmare.

“This journey in my life has been very intense. Training for a Channel swim means pretty much giving everything else up.

“I was so exhausted that I couldn't stand and was rambling to myself. I ripped all the skin off my knees, elbows and stomach trying to get out of the rocks.”

Ms Southwell said: “It was an epic swim but not for one moment did I think he would not do it.

“It was not without a struggle but the man is unbelievable.”

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