On Dec 20, Sunday, Gopal Kharvi performed the almost impossible feat of swimming from St Mary’s Island to Malpe Beach, a distance of 15 kms, with his legs chained and his hands securely tied behind his back." />
Udupi, Dec 21: On Dec 20, Sunday, Gopal Kharvi performed the almost impossible feat of swimming from St Mary’s Island to Malpe Beach, a distance of 15 kms, with his legs chained and his hands securely tied behind his back. This feat lasted for around 3 hours and 26 minutes; but Kharvi says that he could have done it in just 1 hour 45 minutes, but for the breeze. Kharvi had performed the same feat on Dec 17, 2006 and covered a distance of 10 kms in 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Kharvi started from St. Mary’s Island at 7:47 a.m. Mahesh Prasad, a police officer, chained Kharvi’s hands and legs. Mr. Prasad and S Siddaraju, who created a Guinness Record for his ability to shell coconuts with his teeth and is currently employed at Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) Bangalore, followed the swimmer by boat.
At Malpe, Mr. Kharvi spoke to journalists and told them that he wasn’t able to swim faster because of the breeze. He said that he had to swim in a zig zag fashion, covering a larger than required distance. He hopes that this feat will be entered into the Limca Book of Records. However, he has a burning aim to create a Guinness Record.
Mr. Siddaraju firmly believes that Kharvi has the potential to create a Guinness Record. The Limca Book of Records had already requested him to submit the records of Mr. Kharvi’s swim from St. Mary’s Island to Malpe, he said.
T M Prabhakar, the additional deputy commissioner; Vijaykumar Shetty, the chief planning officer of Zilla Panchayat; Narayan Kharvi, the chairman of State Konkani Sahitya Academy; and Vishwanath Pandit, the deputy superintendent of police, felicitated Mr. Kharvi when he reached Malpe beach.
S. R. Sindia, the life member of Karnataka Swimming Association, said that he plans to encourage Mr. Kharvi to attempt a swim across the English Channel in 2012. Since the challenges he will have to face in the English Channel are of a different nature, Mr. Kharvi will have to receive appropriate training, he said.