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Swimmer Training In Baltimore Hopes To Make History

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English Channel Swimmers
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Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a weekend anchor...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Three Americans hope to make history by becoming the first trio of siblings to swim across the English Channel at the same time.

As Linh Bui reports, there’s a Baltimore connection.

Devin, Dustin, and Danielle Wahl will face extreme conditions — from jellyfish, to cold temperatures, to rough ocean currents.

Devin Wahl says training to swim the English Channel with his siblings has been grueling. He lives and trains in Baltimore, swimming about 10,000 yards a day, five days a week.

Weight lifting three days a week and even ice baths are part of his training to get used to the cold channel water.

“It’s just the Mount Everest of swimming. So there’s a whole lot of factors that can go into you being successful or not to be successful,” said Devin Wahl.

In the meantime, in Colorado, his siblings — 19-year-old Dustin and 21-year-old Danielle — are training together.

Danielle actually conquered the channel last summer. She holds the record for the fastest English Channel swimming time for any American, finishing in 9 hours and 49 minutes.

“I’ve talked with them a lot about training and what they need to do to train and just kind of what you go through mentally and physically out there,” she said.

This is Dustin Wahl’s first time tackling something as big as the channel.

“You get a wrong current or bad weather or lightning, and those are all factors that you cant really control,” she said.

The English Channel is 21 miles wide at its most narrow point. But it’s not a straight shot across.

Strong currents can push swimmers from side to side for miles, making the swim much longer. High tides can cause swells and it’s one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Devin says he and his siblings are ready, both physically and mentally.

“The most important thing is your mental capacity. You’ve got to continue pushing even when you want to give up — and you probably will want to give up,” said Wahl.

The waterway averages 60 degrees and it could take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours to complete the crossing.

The siblings hope to raise more than $20,000 to fight Alzheimer’s disease, which has affected several of their loved ones.

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