Dodging stinging jellyfish and tackling choppy seas, marathon swimmer Monte Monfore has accomplished a world first and new record off the coast of Central Java to highlight WFP’s efforts to help last month’s earthquake survivors.
US-born Monte, 45, dived into the gloomy waters off
Hundreds of thousands have lost nearly everything and now they must begin rebuilding their lives
Monte Monfore, marathon swimmer
Menyawakan Island in the South China Sea at 4.43am on 9 June, beginning the swim in darkness to represent the devastation inflicted by the Indonesia earthquake.
He finished four hours and four minutes later on the uninhabited Kumbung Island, emerging in the morning sun – a symbol of hope for those affected by the disaster.
Following the 12.5 kilometre swim, achieved without fins or wetsuit, Monte made a funding appeal for WFP’s Yogyakarta quake relief effort, saying: “Hundreds of thousands have lost nearly everything and now they must begin rebuilding their lives.”
During the hazardous crossing, Monte battled nausea and swam against the current for two hours.
The Bali-resident said his love for Indonesia, its people and its oceans kept him going.
Monte previously collaborated with WFP for its May 18 Fight Hunger - Walk the Walk initiative, swimming the three kilometre Bali Strait and setting a world record at 29 and a half minutes as cities around the world geared up to march against hunger.
He braved the churning waters of the strait to throw the spotlight onto WFP’s school feeding project.