From Senegal to Brazil: British man attempts record breaking swim across Atlantic Ocean

Ben Hooper, 38, breathes between strokes as he starts a swim across the Atlantic from Dakar, Senegal, November 13, 2016. © Emma Farge
A 38-year-old former military policeman has set off on an epic journey across the Atlantic Ocean, to swim a total of 2,000 miles in up to four months. If he completes the journey, he will be the first ever person to swim across the vast ocean.

Ben Hooper, who has been training for the challenge since 2013, planned the route from Senegal in west Africa to Natal, Brazil.

Hooper set off on Sunday from Dakar harbor in Senegal, with a group of well wishers saying a prayer for him.

Hooper told ITV News that he was “a little bit nervous,” but aspires to raise millions for charity through his actions.

“Together we’re going to show that nothing is impossible,” he said. “I have a few fears hanging around, like I don’t want to let my team down or my daughter let alone my charities and followers.”

The keen swimmer nearly drowned as a child and since then used his passion in the water to battle depression later on in life, ITV reports.

Hooper’s journey to Brazil won’t be easy though. He plans to wear camouflage in high risk zones and will also use rotting shark cartilage cans to avoid contact with any dangerous sea life.

Two support vessels will accompany him with a crew of nine people and one dog for his daily 12-hour swims. The boats contain emergency essentials such as water, ration packs, and even a Christmas tree.

A French swimmer claimed to complete the swim in 1998, but the attempt was never verified by Guinness World Records.