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Pune boy breaks channel-crossing record

Press Trust Of India
Aug 22, 2006 at 10:40pm IST

Mumbai: A 13-year-old eighth standard schoolboy Aditya Santosh Raut of Pune has created history in long distance open sea swimming by becoming the youngest in the world to successfully complete channel crossing across five continents.

Raut achieved the feat on August 5, fifteen days before he became a teenager, by successfully becoming the youngest swimmer to negotiate the 46-kilometre crossing between Catalina Island to mainland in Los Angeles.

He broke American boy Andy Taylor's record, who did it when he was 13, his coach Vinay Marathe said on Tuesday.

WATER BABY: Raut took to swimming at the age of six after breaking his thigh bone in an accident.

Raut took 11 hours, 50 minutes and 38 seconds to achieve the feat which has been acknowledged and appreciated by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.

He thus became only the third Indian swimmer – after Padmabushan Taranath Shenoy (1987) and Bula Chakravarty (2002), to successfully cross the Catalina Channel.

The record-setting boy's father dipped into his lifetime's savings of close to Rs 10 lakh to fulfill his ward's dream.

The boy had started the completion of his unique feat in November 2002 in the Arabian sea in Mumbai between the famous landmark of Gateway of India and Dharamtar, a distance of 70 kilometres.

Raut, who took to swimming at the age of six after breaking his thigh bone in a bicycle accident, suffered a few cuts and bruises on his body after being flung on the rocks due to strong waves during the Catalina Channel swim, his coach Marathe said.

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