AFP- A limbless Frenchman planning to swim around the world was delayed from starting his epic journey in Papua New Guinea on Monday by a paperwork problem.
Philippe Croizon, who lost both his arms and legs in an electrical accident in 1994, planned to leave the Pacific country's remote west to begin swimming to Indonesia's Papua province.
But a delay in official permission has meant that he now hopes to begin the swim -- the first in a series of four representing connections between five continents -- on Wednesday.
"It's a problem of getting official authorisation because they consider this project as an activity... it's not just a question of getting over the border," Robert Iseni, who is travelling with Croizon, told AFP.
"They want a more consequential document in terms of security and the activity we are undertaking."
Iseni said the hold up could be political "because we are starting in Papua New Guinea to get to Indonesia".
"There have been meetings with the authorities since this morning and we are waiting for the response. We are not worried, we are always positive."
If successful, the team plan to do an initial crossing by boat to check the currents and distances on Tuesday, and then, weather permitting, begin the 20-25 kilometre (12.4-15.5 miles) swim to Mabo village the following day, he said.
The swim -- which Croizon says represents the crossing between Oceania and Asia -- is expected to take six hours.
Croizon, who swam the English Channel in 2010, hopes to make four swims over the next few months; joining Oceania and Asia, Africa and Asia, Europe and Africa, and Asia to America.
He faces waters containing sharks, poisonous jellyfish, icy currents and cargo ships but, according to Iseni, was more concerned about the torrid heat of Papua New Guinea.