On 24 August 1875, Webb successfully became the first person to swim the Channel. He dived in from the Admiralty Pier in Dover and reached France, near Calais, after 21 hours 45 minutes of swimming.
In the years after his succesful Channel Swim, Webb became a national celebrity and was celebrated across Britain. He began a career as a professional swimmer and competed in competitions around the world.
In 1883, Web announced his aim to tackle the dangerous Whirlpool Rapids at the bottom of Niagara Falls, a feat many considered suicidal. Tragically, Webb was unsuccessful and he was ultimately killed during the attempt.