Pilot Fish Project English Channel crossing bid begins

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Media captionTwo men are to pedal a submarine across the Channel in what is believed to be the first trip of its kind.

Two men attempting to cross the English Channel in a pedal-powered submarine have begun their journey.

French engineers Antoine Delafargue, 33, and Michael de Lagarde, 36, plan to travel 135 nautical miles (250km) from Plymouth to St Malo.

The vessel, which the pair designed and built themselves, left on Friday, travelling at 3km/h (1.86mph), a spokesman told the AFP news agency.

Their trip is expected to take seven days.

According to the duo, the submarine weighs in at 3.5 tonnes [3,500kg] and has two sets of pedals - one at the front and another at the rear.

Image caption Mr Delafargue and Mr de Lagarde left Plymouth on Friday.

The pair said they planned to switch seats every four hours, sleeping in shifts as they travel along at about 100m (328ft) below the surface.

Mr Delafargue told the Plymouth Herald the 6m (20ft) long vessel took two years to build at a cost of more than £100,000.

He described it as a "childhood dream come true".

According to the Project Pilot Fish website, the men will also film the seabed as they travel in a bid to promote marine awareness and energy conservation.

Image caption The submarine, funded out of Mr Delafargue's own pocket, cost more than £100,000
Image caption The vessel weighs more than 3 tonnes (3,000kg)

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