Sunday 26 March 2017

Father attempting to become first person to swim across Atlantic Ocean

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Ian Begley

A British father is attempting to raise £1m for charity by becoming the first person in history to swim the Atlantic Ocean.

Ben Hooper’s daring 1,883-mile challenge kicked off this morning at 10.30am when he set off from Senegal, west coast of Africa, en route to Natal in Brazil.

During his swim the 38-year-old will be supported by a support boat and crew, including a medic, body therapist and an official observer from the Guinness World Records.

The former policeman from Gloucestershire previously served in the Army, and will swim for up to 12 hours a day for four months, braving the threat from 20ft waves, storms, and underwater predators.

“Ever since childhood I have dreamed of swimming across the giant Atlantic monster we call an Ocean,” he said

“Her depths, mystery and sheer power are all consuming of not only my vivid imagination but our weather, our lives and the lives of those who live in and sail upon her.

“As a child I have played, dreamed, watched her horse’s race up to our shores and when angry, punish the United Kingdom coastline. I have witnessed and heard stories of sharks, jelly fish, and waves as tall as a cruise ship, mysterious lights and fish that leap out of the sea to greet you.

“As an adult I have dived beneath her watery body and recreationally swum among her beautiful crests, the most dangerous of territories that is both unpredictable and awesome in appearance. The dream of swimming with her, free and so insignificant in the aquatic hands of Poseidon, conquering the unknown, is frightening, inspiring, exciting and now.”

On his Gofundme page, Ben said he’s been a fighter since birth, dying three times in ICU at birth and nearly drowning at the age of five in a swimming pool in Belgium. 

Ben has turned his life around for himself and his daughter and has been training 6-days per week in the pool, sea and gym to achieve the impossible.

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