AN ex-Bassaleg school pupil has raised £4,500 after swimming the English Channel.

Avoiding boats, and braving the ice cold water as he swam through the night, hotel manager Steve Hayes, 31, completed the gruelling swim from Dover to Calais in 17 hours and 47 minutes on last month.

In the process he raised the impressive sum for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Dad Mr Hayes, who now lives in Jersey, said: "I went through several highs and lows but none lower than when I was convinced that I had been swimming for 16 hours and was very close to France.

"I was completely exhausted, was enduring a huge amount of pain in my shoulder, the sun had been up for what seemed like a whole day and I really thought I was almost there (I had been warned never to look forward so I didn't).

"I rolled on my back and asked the crew how long I'd been swimming and was devastated to hear that I'd been swimming for 9 and a half hours and was about half way there.

"I can't explain the emotions and feelings of disappointment. I continued and the boat pilot came out on deck to tell me that the tide was sweeping me away from France and that I would have to sprint for 30 minutes to break through the tide and into inshore waters.

"I can't thank my crew members Graeme Lowe and Bianca Kempster enough, they were amazing and I will always owe them both. My family have been so supportive and I'm sorry for putting them through what I did. They were on tenter hooks all weekend and probably for a lot longer than that."