Father’s bid to swim 1,883 miles across Atlantic


A British father is diving into the biggest swimming challenge anyone has ever attempted.
Ben Hooper wants to raise £1 million by becoming the first person in history to swim the Atlantic Ocean.
The 38-year-old has already set off from Senegal on the west coast of Africa and is aiming to get to Natal in Brazil.
During the journey, usually only completed by huge ferry and cargo ships, Mr Hooper will have the support of a medic and will be observed by a member of staff from the Guinness World Records team.
If he is to make it, Mr Hooper, who says he almost drowned as a child, will have to swim for up to 12 hours every day for four months.
A former Army serviceman and policeman, Mr Hooper will face threats including huge waves, storms, and sharks.
But, he said he was ready for the challenge, having wanted to do it since he was a little boy.
He added: “Ever since childhood I have dreamed of swimming across the giant Atlantic monster we call an Ocean.
“Her depths, mystery and sheer power are all consuming of not only my vivid imagination but our weather, our lives and the lives of those who live in and sail upon her.
“As a child I have played, dreamed, watched her horse’s race up to our shores and when angry, punish the United Kingdom coastline. I have witnessed and heard stories of sharks, jelly fish, and waves as tall as a cruise ship, mysterious lights and fish that leap out of the sea to greet you.
“As an adult I have dived beneath her watery body and recreationally swum among her beautiful crests, the most dangerous of territories that is both unpredictable and awesome in appearance. The dream of swimming with her, free and so insignificant in the aquatic hands of Poseidon, conquering the unknown, is frightening, inspiring, exciting and now.”
Mr Hooper has set up a Gofundme page in which he says he has been fighting since birth and is not afraid of his latest challenge.
He says that he was resuscitated three times in ICU as a baby and then nearly drowned when he was five in a swimming pool in Belgium.
Mr Hooper has been training for six days a week in the pool, sea and gym before setting off on his epic swim.

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Sam Dunis
Sam comes from Edinburgh and grew up with his mother and step-dad. His father left the country when he learnt he was going to be a father. Sam never had the opportunity to see him and still wonders what he looks like. School wasn’t his thing, he would rather spend sometime with his friends, play rugby and chat girls up. Sam used to help his step dad, a plumber, during summertime. After doing it for several years, he realized he could work with his father and hopefully take over the family business when his step-father would retire. Sam spends most of his time off taking care of his mother, training with the local rugby team. Sam doesn’t have any girlfriend at the moment. He is therefore going out every weekends.