The Sea Hawks, a team of six swimmers including a 16-year-old boy, completed an unprecedented expedition by swimming 1,031 kilometres from the Gateway of India to Mangalore.
The feat has put the country on the global map in the open-water relay swimming.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, earlier, the longest open water relay swim, which was undertaken by 200 swimmers in 2009, spanned 684.75km.
An independent observer from the Swimming Federation of India ratified the swim and announced that
the team completed 1,031 kilometres (557 nautical miles).
The team started their journey at 6.20 pm on November 26 and ended it on Thursday at 3.56 pm.
The non-commercial expedition was dedicated to all martyrs in India and was supported by IDBI.
The Sea Hawks team comprise their leader Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Paramvir Singh, 41, Sgt. (retd) G Narhari, 41, Air Warrior (IAF) Vicky Tokas, 26, Mumbai Police’s assistant police inspector Srikant Palande, 33, Maharashtra state swimming team’s coach Rahul Chiplunkar, 30, and Manav Mehta, 16, a student.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Singh told HT, “It is a proud moment. We are very happy that India now holds two records in open-water relay swim. Our heart bleeds for our martyrs. I would like to urge people to join us in open water swimming or to undertake some social campaigning in their own capacity.”
The feat was not achieved without adversities. Rough seas, 12 -15 foot-long jelly fishes and a high-level of exertion made their journey tougher but could not deter them.
They also braved cuts, bruises and rashes and blisters.
Last year, they swam 490km to create awareness about the government’s national mission of “Beti
Padhao Beti Bachao Andolan.”