Mitu Akhter has made history by becoming the first Bangladeshi girl and the youngest swimmer to cross the Bangla Channel, a 16.1-km-long seaway from the Tekanf fisheries jetty to Saint Martin's Island jetty.
The 16-year-old from Bogra achieved the feat in four hours and 32 minutes Monday afternoon during the annual event Bangla Channel Swimming, organized by Shawaroz Adventure and Extreme Bangla along with Bangladesh Tourism Board.
Apart from her, 17 other swimmers of different age group also completed the challenge.
Dhaka University student Saiful Islam Rasel, 22, was the first to finish the course, taking three hours and eight minutes - a new record.
The previous record was three hours and 40 minutes set by India's Ritu Kedia, who had also crossed the English Channel.
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The competitors at Teknaf fisheries jetty before the Bangla Channel Swimming 2018 kicks off on Monday, March 19, 2018 Dhaka Tribune
Another girl, Purnima Khatun, had joined the competition, but could not finish due to rough sea condition and weather condition along with nine others.
A total of 28 swimmers started from Teknaf's Shah Parir Dwip jetty at 11:20am with the aim to reach Saint Martin’s Island.
Co-sponsors of the event's 13th edition included Fortune Edible Oil, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Brac Bank, NCC Bank, Woodpecker, Priyo Prangan, Off-road Bangladesh and Elite Force. Bangladesh Coast Guard also provided safety and rescue during the competition.
Bangla Channel Swimming was initiated from by late photographer, adventurer and scuba diver Quazi Hamidul Hoque in January 2006. That year, Fazlul Kabir Sina, Salman Sayeed and Lipton Sarker had completed the challenge.
Bangla Channel was later listed in the book of Long Distance Open Water International Route.