Epsom and Ewell’s Sports Personality of the Year is embarking on another rarely-attempted swimming challenge.

Mickey Helps will be swimming 22km in the Sea of Galilee, a freshwater lake in Israel, on April 20 to raise cash for the British Heart Foundation.

However, open water swimming can be dangerous and in 2016 Mickey had to be rescued when he passed out less than a mile from the English shoreline as he made a return swim from France.

Bad weather and strong currents meant he'd swam for 43 hours straight, a total of 92.4 miles, possibly the longest anyone has swam continually in sea water.

Speaking about his crew, Mickey said: "They were really concerned because they are all close friends and I had my eldest son William on the boat.

"They were brilliant. They realised something was wrong, one of them jumped in the water to pull me out.

"Once I was back on shore it became apparent I needed to go to hospital, I had trouble breathing."

The cold water (Mickey had kept swimming through two nights) salt water in his lungs, and sheer exertion, left Mickey in a High Dependency Unit for two weeks.

When the going gets particularly tough, Mickey said you have to "get motivation from wherever you can".

"The crew encourage you but you can't really hear them. Thinking positive thoughts - or there's times you just have to tell yourself you're going to get this, stop whinging and moaning."

He is also motivated by the cause he truly believes in - The British Heart Foundation - which aims to prevent premature death from heart conditions.

His brother-in-law, who had a young family, died from a heart attack in 2003 and his best friend of 20 years and water polo captain, Mark Sheppy, died in 2016.

Teaming up with his sister, he ran the London Marathon with his sister for The BHF one year after her husband's death.

Mickey was named Epsom and Ewell Sports Personality of the Year in October 2017 at an event hosted by the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

Mickey is a cross-continental swimmer and previously swam the Gibraltar Straits (Europe to Africa) and The Bosporous (Europe to Asia).

He's also raced two lengths of Lake Windermere (21 miles) and the full length of Lake Zurich (17 miles) as well as swimming 40 miles around the Channel Island of Jersey.

Now he intends to make the most of the warmer waters in Israel. He said: “I believe this adventure, with its history and unique set of challenges due to the location, will add to the excitement."

To donate, or find out more about Mickey, visit thehelps.co.uk