Pune boy creates history in channel swims

Thirteen-yr-old Aditya Santosh Raut became the youngest in the world to successfully complete channel crossing in five continents.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 19:18 IST

Thirteen-year-old eighth standard schoolboy Aditya Santosh Raut of Pune has created history in long distance open sea swimming by becoming the youngest in the world to successfully complete channel crossing in five continents of the globe.

Raut achieved the feat on August 5, fifteen days before he became a teenager, by successfully becoming the youngest swimmer to negotiate the 46-km crossing between Catalina Island to mainland in Los Angeles, breaking American boy Andy Taylor's record who did it when he was 13, his coach Vinay Marathe said at a media conference today.

Raut took 11 hours, 50 minutes and 38 seconds to achieve the feat which has been acknowledged and appreciated by the CAtalina Channel Swimming Federation.

He thus became only the third Indian swimmer - after Padmabushan Taranath Shenoy (1987) and Arjuna awardee, and MP, Bula (Chowdhary) Chakravarty (2002) - to successfully cross the Catalina Channel.

The record-setting boy, whose father has dipped into his lifetime's savings of close to Rs ten lakh to fulfill his ward's dream, had started the completion of his unique feat in November, 2002 in the Arabian sea in Mumbai between the famous landmark of Gateway of India and Dharamtar, a distance of 70 kms.

Raut, who took to swimming at the age of six after breaking his thigh bone in a bicycle accident, suffered a few cuts and bruises on his body after being flung on the rocks due to strong waves during the Catalina Channel swim, his coach Marathe said.

First Published: Aug 22, 2006 19:18 IST