AN Army captain successfully swam 24 miles - three more than swimming the English channel - virtually in one go.

Graham Miller, 49, joked he would now like to put “all his swim stuff on eBay”, after revealing how monotonous the challenge, including swimming through the night, was.

But he is on the way to raising £4,000 for St Helena Hospice.

Graham’s aim was to swim 24 miles to highlight how the north Essex hospice needs £24,000 a day to run its services.

He totalled 1,552 lengths, starting at 1pm on Friday and finishing at 8.45am on Saturday, managing the feat in under 20 hours.

Graham, from Colchester, said: “It was just fighting through the boredom.

“I did have music playing through a waterproof MP3 but it is still looking at a bottom of a pool, counting tiles, but David Lloyd were absolutely brilliant, they were just so supportive throughout the night.”

The gym, off United Way, Colchester, allowed Graham free use of its outdoor heated pool and for training in the lead up.

His swim equalled 38,800 metres and required 19,386 strokes of front crawl.

He paused just briefly at intervals to hydrate, refuel and take toilet breaks.

Graham, who said he felt “good but sluggish” the day after, was supported by length counters and fellow fundraisers in their own lane of the pool too.

They were invited to swim for hour-long periods each to raise money for the hospice.

Graham masterminded the idea last November following his work as an ambassador for St Helena Hospice, which sees him tell people about its services at its hospices in Colchester and Tendring.

His grandmother was also cared for by the hospice, as was his mum, who died in 2016.

Graham previously ran marathons, Iron Man challenges and triathlons but wanted to set himself a new challenge.

Fortunately this, coupled with his military background, meant the physical demands of the challenge and swimming overnight put him in good stead.

Graham’s Army career spanned 24 years as a combat medical technician before he was commissioned to be a captain with Colchester’s 254 Medical Regiment.

He thanked Property Book who sponsored him and urged additional donors to contact the hospice fundraising team on 01206 931468.

Alternatively, his fundraising page is at

The length of swimming the channel is 21 miles - due to the s-shaped route swimmers take caused by the tide - and it takes between seven and 27 hours.