The wetsuit designed to make him invisible to sharks appears to have worked – but a British man has nevertheless had to call off his bid to become the first to swim the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean after bad weather severely damaged his support vessel.
Ben Hooper, a 38-year-old father and former police officer from Gloucestershire with a deceptively languid-looking front crawl, set off from Senegal 33 days ago and was aiming to reach the coastline of Brazil sometime in March.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Hooper said:
“We were subjected to our fifth day of Atlantic storms as a result of which the sailing catamaran Big Blue suffered damage to her steering and rigging.
“The crew worked through the night to make the vessel safe for all onboard and we were able to assess the extent of the damage and the impact on the expedition at first light.”
Emergency repairs were made that means she can continue to sail towards Brazil but the damage had led the team to “reappraise” the expedition.
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