From Senegal to Brazil: British man attempts record breaking swim across Atlantic Ocean
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.
Good luck to Ben @SwimTheBigBlue soon he will set out on a world first for the Big Swim from Senegal to Natal in Brazil #ThisManCan🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/4UOHfSz1vs— Sacha Sachag (@SachaSachag) November 13, 2016
First 5 miles done! Show Ben your support by donating to his charities. https://t.co/QVqG9nbrUk#swimthebigblue#thisboycan— Swim The Big Blue (@SwimTheBigBlue) November 13, 2016
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.
The startline and my kit... #swimthebigbluepic.twitter.com/rd8cFiyXqd— Swim The Big Blue (@SwimTheBigBlue) November 13, 2016
“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.
Weather Fair for @SwimTheBigBlue Sunday for start of his Atlantic Challenge, mod E-NE'ly breeze & sea temp 28/29C. Good Luck from #Gibraltarpic.twitter.com/RTDxuAbSJZ— MeteoGib (@MeteoGib) November 12, 2016
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.