South African swimmers returned home as heroes after swimming an incredible 459km from Mozambique to Madagascar in just 24 days to raise funds for the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative, which assists Operation Smile in raising awareness for the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates, and funds to perform corrective surgery.
The aim of the mission was to raise enough money to perform surgery on 50 children. This is the first time that anyone has attempted or completed this distance across the Mozambican Channel and officials may recognise the swim as the longest unassisted open water stage swim ever completed in the world, once all data has been reviewed.
The swimmers, Thane Williams and Jonno Proudfoot, did not use any shark nets, wetsuits, cage, flippers or breathing apparatus, and completed the feat in less than the expected time period, swimming an average of 19 km per day.
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