A British man has begun his challenge to earn a world-record by swimming across the Atlantic Ocean.
Ben Hooper, after several delays, has taken the plunge as he tries to make his way from the west coast of Africa to South America.
The 38-year-old sets off on a five-month journey from Senegal to Brazil that will see him strive to swim a total of 1,900 miles for up to 10 hours a day.
BBC reports that his official online tracker shows he has entered the sea just off Dakar in Senegal.
The former policeman tugged on his goggles and said goodbye to loved ones and supporters on the beach of a hotel in Hann Bay, in the east of Dakar as he began his journey.
“To the whole world thank you very much for your support,” he said, before striding into the waves at the start of the record-breaking attempt, expected to take nearly five months.
He began the feat at the start of November but delayed his departure due to a problem with the support vessel. He postponed it again several times until actually setting off on Sunday.
He has been preparing for over three years for the immense journey that will see him swim up to 10 hours a day across the Atlantic. “It has been a long time coming,” he said.
The Briton will rack up 1,635 nautical miles, equal to nearly 1,900 land miles (3,000km) over the course of the journey, while taking in up to 12,000 calories a day. He will don a wetsuit specially designed to make him invisible to sharks.
Hooper’s journey will be observed by a Guinness World Records representative who will join a crew of 10 supporting the swimmer.
His crossing will be filmed and can be tracked on his “Swim the Big Blue” website. Hooper has a £1m fundraising target.