He has successfully swam the Corentyne River to Suriname as well as the Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo, Lake Mainstay and Canje River among others but feels that is not enough.
Now, 71 year-old Ashraf ‘River Conqueror’ Ali is set conqueror the Atlantic Ocean today.
Hailing from Canefield, East Canje, Ali who said he would like a shark to be his company on the journey plans to swim for over five hours in the rough, choppy, murky and dangerous waters of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
Now residing in the USA, a Pastor of The Christadelphian Church said that age doesn’t matter, he likes challenges. For today’s swim he will have the services of a Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard Patrol Boat.
He said despite the weather and the height of the waves, he hopes to travel for about 10 miles out and then begin swimming. What will be more interesting is if he can finds a Shark to swim along with. That, he said would be interesting, because it will show unity and he hopes that after this, Guyanese can live in Unity.
He recently met with His Excellency President David Granger at the Office of The President and discussed his plans of swimming the Atlantic Ocean. He made a request for a Coast Guard vessel to accompany him on the journey. Ali plans to depart the New Amsterdam Stelling at 12:00hrs.
Last year Ali, a former student of the Berbice High School (BHS), swam across the Berbice, the Demerara River (back and forth without any boat) and the Essequibo Rivers within a space of two weeks.
The feats were done to coincide with the celebration of Guyana’s 50 Independence Anniversary and The BHS 100th Anniversary celebrations. Ali also met with former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Nicolette Henry.
Ali started swimming over the Canje River as a youth and was the first person to swim the Berbice River in 1979. In 1998 he swam the Suriname River, swimming from Skeldon to Stratt in Nickerie, Suriname. In 1999 he swam the Demerara River. He has also swum Lake Mainstay twice. He stated that by the will of God, he plans to swim the Berbice River every year.
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