Strong determination and consistency made five swimmers from Maharashtra to successfully cross channel between Arnala Fort and Vasai Fort on January 5 in Mumbai.
The sea swimming expedition was jointly organised by the JD Sports Youth Foundation, Kalamb Sports Foundation and Vijay Patil Foundation. The adventure event was conducted under Fit India Movement for spreading message of fitness awareness. It also highlighted the importance of drowning prevention as well as promotion of open water swimming amongst the citizens of India.
Around midnight of January 4, all swimmers, parents, coaches and the observer team of Swimming Association of Maharashtra reached the Arnala Fort (island) by special boats.
Early morning on Sunday, the chief observer Dr Jaiprakash Duble gave best wishes to all swimmers. Around 6.45 am all the swimmers started their mission towards the Vasai Fort. Since last week the weather conditions in our country was suddenly changed to cold and cloudy. During the expedition the wind force was too high and cold but strong determination of the youth swimmers overcame these unfavorable weather conditions.
This expedition established following records â€“
- For the first time a swim expedition was organized on this route — Arnala Fort to Vasai.
- 12-year-old Jiya Madan Rai, autism spectrum disorder swimmer, conquered this channel of 22 kms in 7 hours.
- International Open Water swimmer Prabhat Raju Koli, 20, conquered this channel with record time of 6 hours and 3seconds to become the fastest swimmer of this route.
- Kartik Sanjay Gugle, 18, took 6 hrs and 11 mins, Rakesh Ravindra Kadam, 22, took 6 hrs and 43 mins and Shardul Vidyadhar Gharat, 19, took 6 hrs and 48 mins.
After the completion of this expedition, Swimming Association of Maharashtraâ€˜s vice-president Jaiprakash Duble and convener Kishor Shetty felicitated the swimmers and also the president of JD Sports Youth Foundation Jayant Duble by giving mementos.
JD Sports Youth Foundation thanked Raju Kohli, Madan Rai, Sanjay Gugle, Amol Tandel and Vidyadhar Gharat for searching new challenging sea swim route.
Collector of Palghar district, chairman of Maharashtra Maritime Board, Mumbai Port Trust, local fisher men and all supporters of Vasai. Mayur Vyas , Zubin Amaria, Dr Sambhaji Bhonsale and Nita Talvalkar congratulated all the swimmers and the organizers.