The National - News

Former soldier swims around The Palm and says he wants to take on The World

- NICK WEBSTER

The fifth person to swim around Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah wants to take on the World Islands next in another mammoth endurance feat.

Former British Army soldier Will Follett swam 11 kilometres around The Palm on Saturday, raising almost Dh40,000 ($10,890) for charity.

The money, which was twice as much as he set out to raise, will go to the Gulf for Good charity and help to build a school at an orphanage in Tanzania.

Mr Follett, 41, dodged the worst of the strong currents and jellyfish to complete his solo swim in four hours and 10 minutes.

“I only saw two jellyfish in the water and managed to avoid any stings, but I did get hit in the head by a flying fish,” he said. “Another jumped out of the water and into a kayak of the support crew.

“I was happy with the time. I got into the water at about 7am at low tide, so I missed the worst of the heat.

“For the last two kilometres I was swimming against the current, which was tough, and it was getting hotter, so that was the worst part.”

Authoritie­s gave Mr Follett special permission to complete his swim inside the outer fronds of the giant man-made archipelag­o.

A flotilla of support crew accompanie­d him on his swim, with paddleboar­ders and kayakers offering water and supplies alongside a support boat manned by Nakheel, The Palm’s developer.

Sun-baked and exhausted, the father of two dragged himself on to the golden sands of Palm West Beach just after 11am, where he was greeted by family and friends.

The funds he raised will go towards a new school at Larchfield Children’s Home in

Mkuranga, south of Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam.

“I think the cause resonated with a lot of people, as we were very surprised by the response from donors,” Mr Follett said.

“I’m weary, but the swim has

stoked the appetite for the next challenge.

“I’ve heard of some people who swam 24 kilometres around the World Islands, so that would be something I would like to try next.”

 ?? ??
 ?? Ruel Pableo for The National ?? Will Follett celebrates with his youngest son at West Palm Beach after completing his charity solo swim around Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, top, in just over four hours
Ruel Pableo for The National Will Follett celebrates with his youngest son at West Palm Beach after completing his charity solo swim around Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, top, in just over four hours

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates