A British Man Is Trying to Swim the 2,000 Miles From Africa to South America
Ben Hooper is determined to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.
The 38-year-old British man left Senegal on Sunday to swim all the way to the coast of Brazil.
From Dakar, Senegal, Hooper will swim 1,635 nautical miles—nearly 2,000 land miles—until he reaches Natal, Brazil. Hooper will (most likely) not step foot on land again until March. He will swim for about eight hours and burn approximately 12,000 calories every day.
Hooper trained for three years before setting off to brave 30-foot waves and sharks.
The ex-policeman said that the swim is inspired by his eight-year-old daughter. After suffering from depression three years ago, Hooper found solace in swimming. The epic transatlantic swim is representative of his choice to turn his life around for his daughter.
The swimmer has an interesting relationship with water. “I nearly drowned when I was 5 in a swimming pool in Belgium,” Hooper told the Associated Press. “Ever since...I've had this affinity with water. It was the calmest I've ever felt.”
Hooper will be accompanied to Brazil by two ships and a full crew, including a paramedic. During the swim, he will wear camouflage gear to stealthily swim past sharks, earphones pumping motivation music (Eminem and “eurotrash”) and a tracking device so people can track his five-month journey.
The journey will also be filmed for a television documentary that will air if/when Hooper completes the journey.
The swimmer hopes to raise £1 million ($1.25 million) for charities through sponsors and motivate people, especially children, to start swimming.
Hooper follows in the footsteps of British explorer Ranulph Fiennes who described swimming the Atlantic as one of the last true feats of endurance.
The only other person to swim across the Atlantic was Benoît Lecomte in 1998. However the Frenchman’s journey was never verified by Guinness World Records.