E’bo River swim: Adventurous GDF Captain fueled by passion for health & fitness

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By Richard Bhainie

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With an inclination for adventure fueled by a passion for health and fitness, a 27-year-old Captain in the Guyana Defence Force, Kaya Dover, undertook the daring journey to swim across the mighty Essequibo River.

Another feat struck off his list of challenges, on Sunday last Dover and Second Lieutenant, Jubal West navigated the rough tides in two hours, a distance of approximately three miles, to complete the swim across Guyana’s largest river.

Kaya Dover is the Commanding Officer for the Jungle and Amphibious Training School

Dover, the Commanding Officer for the Jungle and Amphibious Training School, which is strategically located at Makouria in the Essequibo River, told the News Room that he is often faced with the question of if he has ever undertaken the journey to swim across the river.

With the weather and timing being opportune on Sunday afternoon, Dover and Second Lieutenant West “stepped up the challenge” at approximately 15:00hrs to undertake the journey and “got it done”.

It was the second time Dover made the attempt to swim across the river. He related that the first attempt was six-months ago, but having underestimated the distance, it was impossible to complete the journey while the sun was still shining.

“Myself and a team of six attempted the swim, however we underestimated the distance. We started around 16:00hrs, we were still in the water by 17:30hrs so we ran out of daylight – we didn’t prepare for a night swim so we aborted the mission,” he shared.

The self-taught swimmer, who hails from Georgetown, said that he was not overwhelmed by the challenge as he is “pretty good at swimming” and is “into fitness”, but noted that it was the public’s reaction to his feat that gave him contentment.

Describing the odyssey, Dover related that the initial phase of the journey “felt great”, however, as the tides changed the water became rough which led him to question if he would be able to complete the swim, but himself and West persisted and prevailed.

“I am very adventurous; I run, I hike, I am currently attempting a marathon with running that’s 20 plus miles,” Dover shared, noting that his motivation lies in his interest in health and fitness which is centered around his ideology that “the shortcut of long life is a healthy lifestyle”.

Kaya Dover swimming the mighty Essequibo

Speaking to his next challenge, Dover related that he is often asked if he would undertake the swim across the Demerara River, however he noted that his next adventure must be “bigger and better” so he is currently looking at different obstacles he can undertake.

The young GDF Captain is adamant that the Force has “a lot to offer” with many skilled professionals capable of doing “far more” than a two-hour swim and registered that he is interested in promoting the work of the force.

“GDF is very beneficial for all-round life skills. I believe it really carves you into that man that you’re ought to be,” Dover said.

Sharing a word of encouragement, Dover related that “life is what you make it … the only limit is the one you set in your mind” while emphasising that if someone has a goal, they should pursue it.

Dover documents his adventures on his social media accounts, namely his TikTok account @limitlessdoverx.

The parachute specialist is also the creator behind Skydiving Guyana, a Facebook page and Youtube channel where he shares content on skydiving to build skydiving awareness locally.

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