Kerala swimmer crosses Palk Strait

Rameswaram (TN): Kerala-based long-distance adventure swimmer S P Muraleedharanon Tuesday crossed the Palk Straits from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in India in 14 hours and 25 minutes.

Though the 38-year-old swimmer from Cherthala in Alappuzha failed in his bid to erase the record of IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi, he became the first Keralite to swim between India and Sri Lanka.

According to the event organisers, Muraleedharan started off Talaimannar at 1.55 AM and reached the finishing point by 4.20 PM.

On completion of the arduous task, Muraleedharan said "I am glad that I could fulfil my long-cherished dream though I could not create a record as sea was rough with strong waves."

The existing swimming record in Palk Straits is in the name of Rajiv Trivedi, an IPS officer from Hyderabad, who achieved the feat in 12 hours 31 minutes last year.

Swimming legend Mihir Sen was among the Indian who had successfully cross the shark-infested channel in the past.

Muraleedharan had been practising off Rameswaran coast for the last one week to tune his body and mind for the high risk quest.

The venture was supported by the Swimming Federation of India with the backing of various agencies like Maritime Exploration and Research Group and Indian Coast Guard.