Lufkin doctor takes long swim - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin doctor takes long swim

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by Ryan Peterson

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -  As a doctor at Lufkin Memorial Hospital, Brent Campbell saves life's.  When he's out of the office, he's risking his life.

"I just kept telling myself that I was at greater risk driving a car in Spain then I was swimming the Straight of Gibraltar," Campbell says. 

Dr. Campbell decided to swim among the sharks and jelly fish, for swimming immortality.

"Being able to tell my kids one day that I swam from Europe to Africa seemed like an exciting thing to do," he says.

Dr. Campbell signed up online and was approved. He trained for months at the Boys and Girls Club, then took the cold water of Spain aiming to become the 218th person to ever swim across the Straight of Gibraltar.  Campbell says he doubted if he could do it, but  once he hit the water, there was no turning back.  The 12 mile swim to Morocco wasn't always smooth.

"As soon as I started swimming, the Spanish navy decided they were going to start bombing a ship right along the track I was going to swim," Campbell says.  "So I had to swim around that. In order to do that I had to swim directly into the current, so two and half hours into my swim, I was only a fifth of the way across."

Despite eight jelly stings and hypothermia, Campbell finished in five hours and nine minutes.  The doctor has never felt more alive.

"It's a good thing to do to when you're not working to keep your mind and body fit," Campbell says.  "It's a recipe for living a happy, productive and hopefully long life."

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