23-year-old Prabhat Koli Becomes Youngest to Complete Oceans Seven Challenge

23-year-old Prabhat Koli Becomes Youngest to Complete Oceans Seven Challenge

Prabhat Koli, at just 23 years old, has become the youngest person in the world to swim across the Cook Strait and complete the Oceans Seven challenge.

Prabhat, a prolific Indian open water swimmer, completed the Ocean Seven on March 1, 2023 by swimming across the Cook Strait in New Zealand in 8 hours and 41 minutes (pending ratification), becoming the youngest person to complete both challenges.

He braved strong currents and waves to complete the treacherous Cook Strait stretch between New Zealand’s North and South islands, he said to Indian Weekender:

I cannot put my feelings in words after becoming the youngest person in the world to complete the Oceans Seven. The sentiment is still sinking in. The weather at the start was wonderful, but after 3-4hrs in the strait, the wind was going across at 30knts, and the waves were tossing me around. But somehow, after 8hrs and 41 mins, all the hardships were forgotten when I managed to finish on the rocks. All I remember is smiling and posing with our Indian flag.”

Prabhat started swimming at the age of eight, and his parents, Raju and Shilpa sold their home to support and encourage him to follow his dreams.

He thanked the local swimmers from the Washing Machine Swim Club and Ministry of Swimming, Grainne Moss and Sarah Harrow, his crew for the Cook Strait swim including Philip Rush, Donald, Bret, Corey, and Omar, the High Commission of India in Wellington, Indians in New Zealand, Sal Minty-Gravett, Mr. Sidharth Vasani, Mr. Arjun Menon, and Mr. Sahil Shah and Mr. Navneet, and his parents.

Prabhat has been honored with several awards, including the Tenzing Norgay National Achievement Award and the Shiv Chhatrapati Award from the Government of Maharashtra. He has also secured a place in both the Guinness Book of Records and the Limca Book of National Records for his impressive swimming accomplishments. In total he has successfully completed more than 17 international swims.

A remarkable feat by becoming the youngest person ever to complete the Oceans Seven challenge, Prabhat Koli has solidified his position as one of the most accomplished open water swimmers in the world.