The North Channel (known in Irish and Scottish Gaelic as Sruth na Maoile, in Scots as the Sheuch and alternatively in English as the Straits of Moyle or Sea of Moyle) is the strait between north-eastern Northern Ireland and south-western Scotland. It connects the Irish Sea with the Atlantic Ocean, and is part of the marine area officially classified as the "Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland" by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
The southern boundary of the strait is a line joining the Mull of Galloway and Ballyquintin Point. The northern boundary is a line joining Portnahaven and Benbane Head. The narrowest part of the strait is between the Mull of Kintyre and Torr Head where its width is 21 kilometres (13 mi; 11 nmi). The deepest part is called Beaufort's Dyke.
The Channel was a favourite haunt of privateers preying on British merchant shipping in wars until the 19th century; in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War it was also the site of a naval duel between American captain John Paul Jones's Ranger and the Royal Navy's Drake. It is crossed by a large number of ferry services. In 1953, it was the scene of a serious maritime disaster, the sinking of the ferry Princess Victoria.
In Northern Ireland, Unionist political leaders for decades lobbied the British government to construct a railway tunnel under the Channel, to better link Northern Ireland with the rest of the United Kingdom. In August 2007 the Centre for Cross-Border Studies proposed the construction of a 34-kilometre (21 mi) long rail bridge or tunnel, estimating that it might cost about £3.5 billion. In the Victorian era, engineers proposed a rail tunnel between Stranraer and Belfast.
This strait was formerly known as the Irish Channel. In the 19th century, Alexander Keith Johnston's suggested name St Patrick's Channel had currency, but it was rejected by the hydrographic department.
The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILDSA) has provided authentication observers for swimmers attempting to cross the approximately 35-kilometre (22 mi) span between Northern Ireland and the Mull of Galloway. According to the ILDSA, this was first accomplished in 1947 by Tom Blower. The first two-way crossing was completed by a six-person relay team on 28 July 2015.
The North Channel is part of the Ocean's seven, a set of seven long-distance open-water swims considered the marathon swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge.
|28 July 1947||Tom Blower||England||Ireland to Scotland||15 hrs 26 mins|
|11 September 1970||Kevin Murphy||England||Ireland to Scotland||11 hrs 21 mins|
|29 August 1971||Kevin Murphy||England||Ireland to Scotland||14 hrs 27 mins|
|11 August 1973||Ted Keenan||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||18 hrs 27 mins|
|22 August 1988||Alison Streeter||England||Ireland to Scotland||09 hrs 53 mins 42 secs|
|23 August 1988||Margaret Kidd||Scotland||Ireland to Scotland||15 hrs 26 mins 03 secs|
|25 August 1989||Alison Streeter||England||Scotland to Ireland||10 hrs 04 mins|
|7 September 1989||Kevin Murphy||England||Scotland to Ireland||17 hrs 17 mins 48 secs|
|18 August 1997||Alison Streeter||England||Scotland to Ireland||10 hrs 02 mins12 secs|
|27 July 1999||Paul Lewis||England||Scotland to Ireland||14 hrs 28 mins|
|21 July 2000||Stephen Price||England||Scotland to Ireland||16 hrs 56 mins|
|31 July 2004||Colm O Neill||Ireland||Scotland to Ireland||11 hrs 25 mins 05 secs|
|12 September 2008||Colleen Blair||Scotland||Ireland to Scotland||15 hrs 23 mins 59 secs|
|31 August 2010||Stephen Redmond||Ireland||Scotland to Ireland||17 hrs 17 mins 01 sec|
|1 September 2010||Ann Marie Ward||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||18 hrs 59 mins 26 secs|
|27 July 2011||Craig Lenning||USA||Ireland to Scotland||14 hrs 44 mins 50 secs|
|2 August 2011||Howard Keech||England||Ireland to Scotland||13 hrs 25 mins|
|16 June 2013||Fergal Somerville||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs 21 mins|
|30 July 2013||Milko van Gool||Netherlands||Ireland to Scotland||10 hrs 34 mins|
|29 August 2013||Darren Miller||USA||Ireland to Scotland||11 hrs 16 mins|
|22 July 2014||Guy Moar||Australia||Ireland to Scotland||11 hrs 10 mins|
|6 August 2014||Adam Walker||England||Ireland to Scotland||10 hrs 45 mins|
|2 September 2014||Kimberley Chambers||New Zealand||Ireland to Scotland||13 hrs 6 mins|
|24 July 2015||Vicky Miller||England||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs 6 mins|
|7 August 2015||Adrian Sarchet||Guernsey||Ireland to Scotland||14 hrs 13 mins|
|11 August 2015||Ion Lazarenco||Moldova/Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||16 hrs 23mins|
|9 September 2015||Tom Pembroke||Australia||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs|
|14 July 2016||Cameron Bellamy||South Africa||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs 16 mins|
|25 August 2016||Edward Williams||England||Ireland to Scotland||10 hrs 58 mins|
|24 August 2016||Pat Gallant Charette||USA||Ireland to Scotland||14 hrs 22mins|
|Date||Team Name||Team size||Nation of Origin||Direction||Duration|
|27 August 1990||Ireland One||6||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs 03 mns 01 sec|
|14 August 1993||City of Liverpool||6||England||Ireland to Scotland||10 hrs 39 mins 42 secs|
|23 June 1996||City of Dublin||6||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs 44 mins 56 secs|
|20 August 1999||The All American||6||USA||Scotland to Ireland||13 hrs 11 mins 39 secs|
|26 August 2002||City of Liverpool||6||England||Scotland to Ireland||12 hrs 47 mins 41 secs|
|6 July 2004||The Swilly Trio||3||Ireland||Scotland to Ireland||14 hrs 41 mins 14 secs|
|22 August 2011||Team Camlough Lake||6||Northern Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs 21 mins 12 secs|
|5 July 2014||11 Feet Camlough Lake||6||Northern Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||12 hrs 52 mins 0 secs|
|7 August 2102||The Machine Men||3||USA||Ireland to Scotland||10 hrs 18 mins 0 secs|
|24 June 2015||Wexford Masters||6||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||13 hrs 09 mins|
|28 July 2015||Fast and Frozen||6||Worldwide||Ireland to Scotland to Ireland (two-way relay)||29 hrs 57 mins|
|7 August 2015||Infinity V||5||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||13 hrs 15 mins|
|25 May 2016||Deadly Diamonds||5||Northern Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||10 hrs 20 mins 0 secs|
|12 June 2016||O W Ladies||5||England||Ireland to Scotland to Ireland (two-way relay)||28 hrs 25 mins|
|30 June 2016||The Celtic Kippers||6||Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||13 hours 46 mins|
|25 August 2016||Channel Swimming Crazies||4||Northern Ireland||Ireland to Scotland||09 hours 55 mins 44 secs|