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ALM
March 24th, 2012, 02:59 PM
http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x872947478/Somerset-woman-local-icon-Shirley-May-Setters-dies-at-79

Somerset icon Shirley May Setters, nee France, dies at 79
March 18, 2012



...In the years shortly after World War II, the woman who as 16-year-old Shirley May France captivated an international following, while attempting to become the youngest female to swim the English Channel, died Sunday afternoon at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, her family said...

...More than 60 years ago, in 1949 and 1950, her determination to finish the 21-mile English Channel swim, amid choppy currents and frigid temperatures, caused her to bite a man trying to rescue the shaking swimmer six miles from her goal after zig-zagging the channel, according to press reports...

...For the girl who, as a 10-year-old, would beat men in races at Sandy Beach in Fall River, in 1946, at 14, she swam the 33 miles across Lake St Clair in Michigan; then, in 1948, she was named the world’s long-distance women’s champion when she was the sole female racer to swim in fresh water across Lake George, finishing behind nine men and was one of 15 to finish from 121 starting the 12-mile race...

...Ready to compete in the 1948 Olympics, she decided to swim the English Channel after officials cancelled the endurance swimming, Setters said....



This article from 2008 provides some more details of her attempts, with a few more photos:

http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x802008136/AGAINST-THE-CURRENT-Town-recalls-residents-English-Channel-swim