Gloucestershire

Sri Lanka paddle trip under way for Kev Brady

Kev Brady
Image caption Kev Brady has been training with his paddle board in Gloucestershire ahead of his Sri Lanka trip

A paddle boarder has begun his quest to travel from source to sea along the longest river in Sri Lanka.

Kev Brady will paddle 208 miles (335km) along the Mahaweli and then around the island, adding 800 miles (1,287km) to his trip.

He said he felt compelled to do the challenge after "falling in love" with the country's rivers and coasts.

His previous feats include canoeing along the Mississippi and swimming the length of the River Severn.

'Dense jungle'

Speaking before he began his challenge, he said: "I started paddle-boarding when I finished the swim (of the River Severn) and I've become obsessed with it.

"So a year on I want to take a paddle board abroad and take it on a big adventure.

"I had a voluntary job in Sri Lanka I was looking forward to and it fell through.

"By that time I'd already looked into Sri Lanka's rivers and coasts and I'd fallen in love with it."

When he began his challenge on Tuesday, he told the BBC some stretches of the river could not be paddled along due to shallows, waterfalls and rocks.

He said: "I'll be going through some really dense jungle along the river and I'm told there are 5m (16ft) crocodiles but apparently they won't come near me if I'm in the middle of the river, they just stalk things on the bank."

He added that wild elephants would also be a risk as the male elephants could be aggressive during the mating season.

Mr Brady, who has been training along the River Severn, hopes to complete the Sri Lanka river challenge in four months.

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