Gopal Kharvi, a 37-year-old fisherman from Kodikanyana village in Udupi district, swam 3.07 km from St. Mary’s Island to Malpe beach wearing handcuffs and leg shackles.

Gopal Kharvi, a 37-year-old fisherman from Kodikanyana village in Udupi district, created a Guinness World Record by swimming the farthest distance “wearing handcuffs and leg irons”, here on Sunday.

He swam 3.07 kilometres from St. Mary’s Island to Malpe Beach wearing handcuffs and leg shackles. At St. Mary’s Island, Maruti Nayak, Circle Police Inspector, helped him wear handcuffs and leg irons.

Mr. Kharvi started at 7.37 a.m. from St. Mary’s Island and reached Malpe Beach at 10.20 a.m.

Three boats were following and the entire stunt was videoed. The adjudicator from the Guinness World Records, London, Pravin Patel M.R., who witnessed the entire swim, later announced the record made by Mr. Kharvi at a function held at Malpe Beach. He also handed over the certificate of the Guinness World Record to Mr. Kharvi.

“It is the farthest swim wearing handcuffs and leg irons which was important and not the time taken. It is an amazing achievement by Mr. Kharvi,” Mr. Patel said.

Festive occasion

As Mr. Kharvi was nearing the Malpe beach, he was cheered and applauded by a huge crowd.

Traditional drums were beaten. As soon as he reached the beach, the cheering reached a crescendo. Mr. Nayak and Pramod Madhwaraj, MLA, helped in removing the handcuffs and leg irons at Malpe Beach. People jostled to garland and shake hands with him.

He was welcomed at the beach by Vinay Kumar Sorake, Urban Development Minister, and K. Jayaprakash Hegde, Udupi-Chikmagalur MP.

Mr. Kharvi said that he was delighted to have made the Guinness World Record, which was his dream. “When I began my swim today, it was quite tough. The waves were rough and the wind was blowing against me. But I persevered and continued swimming,” he said.

Government job

He had raised a loan Rs. 10.5 lakh to realise this dream. He had to spend a portion of it to get the Guinness World Record team to Udupi. He hoped voluntary and philanthropists would help him repay the loan, Mr. Kharvi said.

Mr. Sorake said that Mr. Kharvi had made the district, the State and country proud.Mr. Madhwaraj said that Mr. Kharvi had sought a government job. He would appeal to the State government, Mr. Sorake and Mr. Hegde to help him in getting a government job for Mr. Kharvi, he said.

Mr. Hegde said he would talk to Minister of State for Fisheries, Youth Services and Sports K. Abayachandra Jain regarding a government job for Mr. Kharvi.

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