Six swimmers reach Goa from Mumbai, aiming for Guinness record

Panaji (IANS) Six swimmers, who started their longest relay swim, the 1,100 kms Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai event to create a new Guinness record, reached Goa on Thursday morning after swimming for 113 hours in the Arabian Sea.

The unique sports event has been organised by the Vasai-Virar Open Water Sea Swimming Foundation under the observation of Para Swimming Federation of India.

Madan Rai, event coach and senior sailor in the Indian Navy, speaking to IANS said that after tackling all the challenges of the sea they reached Goa with 23 crew members.

He said that initially one person swam for 6 hours, later it was reduced to 5 and 4 hours. “As per the situation and difficulties we reduced the time,” he said.

According to him, while one person was swimming, 5 were taking rest.

The six swimmers’ team comprises of Sampala Shelar, 21 from Pune, Jiya Rai, 14 from Colaba, Mumbai, Kartik Gugle, 21 years and Rakesh Kadam, 26 years from Vasai, Raj Patil,17 from Uran and Dhruven Naik, 17 from Santacruz in Mumbai. Jiya Rai is the youngest and only female member of this team.

These three teens, including the girl, and three youths had plunged into the Arabian Sea from the Gateway of India on December 17 for the world’s longest relay swim of 1,100 kms.

Rai said the swimmers passed tiny and picturesque coastal towns like Kanhoji Angre (Khanderi) Island, Revdanda, Kashid, Dighi, Shrivardhan Bay, Dabhol, Bhudal, Jaigarh, Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Vijaydurg, Malvan and then reached Goa.

“On successful completion of the swim, the attempt will be registered in Guinness Book of World Record as the World’s Longest Open Water Sea Swimming Relay. As per the Guinness Book, the previous record was 1031 km by a team, SeaHawks,” Madan Rai said.

He said the swimmers faced many challenges in the Arabian Sea, one being the constant threat of jellyfish bites which can incapacitate the victim for hours, other big or gigantic fish or marine creatures which can injure the swimmers.

One ship with logistics, another four safety boats for swimmers, lifeguards and doctors are accompanying them.

“The Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Mumbai Port Trust, Goa government are supporting the event,” said Rai.

The swimmers team will come back to achieve its goal.

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