Known as ‘Dolphin Ratheesh’, this lifeguard and swimmer has long been known for his attempts to traverse waterways with both hands and both legs bound. His most recent feat occurred on Thursday, November 18 when he swam the 10km stretch across the canal which connects the cities of Trivandrum and Shoranur in southern India.
His World Record Attempt was successful, according to the local news source, The Hindu. His efforts have garnered a significant amount of attention, with several boats and more than a hundred spectators seen supporting the swim and cheering Dolphin Ratheesh in a video that he posted to his Instagram;
Dolphin Ratheesh has worked as a lifeguard at Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Limited in Kerala, India since 2006. Along with lifeguarding, he works as a swimming trainer, and search and rescue diver.
His passion for “adventure swimming” dates back to 2002 when he jumped off of the 50-foot-high Neendakara Bridge and swam 500 meters with all 4 limbs bound. Among his other undertakings was a swim across the 2-kilometer stretch from Tangasseri Pulimuttu to the Kollam beach in the Arabian sea, also with his hands and feet tied.
Dolphin Ratheesh explained in the interview with The Hindu that it is his goal to eventually swim across the English Channel in that limb bound fashion;
“Many freestyle swimmers have done that, but it will be the first time for someone to attempt the distance with his hands and legs bound”, “The biggest challenge is the funding. I won’t be able to pull it off without financial support.”
The efforts, he goes on to say, are an attempt to bring attention to plastic pollution in the environment. According to National Geographic, the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean each year, worldwide, is on track to triple to 29 million metric tons by 2040.
For a closer look at Dolphin Ratheesh’s technique for swimming incapacitated, check out his recent Instagram post depicting the approach;