Congrats Thane and Jonno!
Smiles as duo complete ‘mad swim’
April 10 2014 at 10:59am
WAVE OF EMOTIONS: Thane Williams and Jono Proudfoot celebrate as they land on Madagascan soil after completing a 459km swim from Mozambique. Photo: Vernon Deas
MAD swim duo Thane Williams and Jonno Proudfoot survived sharks and French soldiers to complete their 459km swim for smiles.
Williams and Proudfoot swam from Mozambique to Madagascar to raise R1 million for the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative. So far, they have managed to raise about half of the money, Williams said.
Operation Smile is a non-profit organisation that provides free repair surgeries to cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. The swim was dubbed “The Mad Swim” because it was one of the longest staged swims in history.
“We were swimming east against a western current (when) enormous swells and the scorching sun made it difficult to gain momentum,” Williams told the Cape Times.
He also said an oceanic whitetip shark had circled them at less than a metre away. “As the shark came closer, my heart started to beat faster. Our natural reaction is to scream and be frightened, but we remained still until the shark eventually swam away,” said Williams.
Fear returned when Williams and Proudfoot were detained on Juan de Nova island, a French military base about 100km off the coast of Madagascar where they were questioned for more than seven hours. They were on their way back home at the time.
Proudfoot said it still felt unreal to have been one of the first people to have successfully completed a swim through the Mozambican Channel.
l Anyone who wishes to donate can visit the website www.milesforsmiles.co.za.