First blind UK swimmer to swim the English channel

Melanie Barrett, a determined UK swimmer who happens to be visually impaired, is embarking on a remarkable journey to become the first blind female swimmer to conquer the English Channel. Melanie’s pursuit of this challenging feat is aided by the innovative Marlin swim meter, a device that provides invaluable audio feedback during her training sessions, ensuring she stays on course while navigating the waters.


To kick off her week and chase away the Monday morning blues, Melanie prefers to tackle her long swimming sessions. Today, she harnessed the full potential of her Marlin swim meter for the first time in the pool. With the help of the device, Melanie programmed her training session and received real-time updates on her performance through the earpiece. This was a game-changer for her, as her visual impairment prevents her from easily accessing a pace clock or reading her watch.

The training session itself was a straightforward yet intense base aerobic workout, spiced up with specific target times to maintain her focus:

  • 400 meters warm-up, incorporating various strokes.
  • 50 sets of 100 meters each, with a 1.45-minute interval between sets, divided into:
    • 20 sets of full swimming.
    • 10 sets with the use of paddles and a buoy.
    • 10 sets with paddles only.
    • 10 sets of full 100-meter backstroke for the cool-down.

In total, Melanie covered an impressive distance of 5,500 meters during this session. She couldn’t be happier with her performance and how she felt afterward. It’s undoubtedly a fantastic way to kickstart her week on a high note, demonstrating her determination and enthusiasm to conquer the English Channel.