A city college student, Prabhat Koli (19), who crossed the when he was 16, has become the first Asian to swim the choppy water from Jersey (an Island in the UK) to France in cold weather on 26 July 2018. The long-distance sea swimmer covered 25km in 6 hours and 54 minutes. He started off from La Coupe Point of Jersey, behind St Catherine’s backwater and touched the shore of St Germain Plage on the Normandy coast of France.
His father Raju Koli, an employee of BARC, Anushaktinagar, said Prabhat is the first Asian to have crossed this sea route. “In 2015, he had completed a roundJersey Island swim of 66km as part of his attempt to swim seven seas. He was supported by his coach Sally Minty Garavett,” Raju Koli told TOI from the UK.
During the swim, the temperature of the water was around 16-170c. Prabhat had undergone water swimming training at Nainital for a month and Sherwood college swimming pool before embarking on this challenge. “It was cold water swim. I had got acclimatized with the weather condition. I had set the target of clocking below 7 hours and managed it. So far, only 13 swimmers have been able to do this in less than 7 hours. Since 1966 only 63 swimmers, including myself, have succeeded in completing the event,” said an ecstatic Prabhat, who is doing second year B Com at Ambedkar College, Chembur.