In 1988, Ben Lecomte became the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean – and now, 30 years later, he wants to become the first person to successfully swim across the Pacific.
Lecomte is set to leave from the coast of Choshi, Japan on Sunday and spend the next 6 to 8 months swimming the 5,500-mile distance to San Francisco. The athlete hopes that the incredible transcontinental quest will raise awareness for oceanic health and the real dangers of water pollution.
The Frenchman has been training for the endeavor over seven years by swimming 6 hours every day. Over the course of his expedition, however, he will swim a full 8 hour day and sleep on a boat piloted by his crew.
The boats that will escort him are equipped with technology that will repel sharks and predators. His special wet suit is designed to withstand chilly waters, which may drop to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Lecomte’s journey, which is being called “The Swim,” will be live-streamed by Discovery and shared on social media so viewers can follow Lecomte every step of the way. The footage will end up in a feature-length documentary to be released in 2019.
The feat will be documented and measured by the scientific publishing platform Seeker. Lecomte has also partnered with 27 research institutes, including NASA and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to collect over 1,000 samples of water and maritime specimens along the way. The specimens will be collected by the 8-person crew that is looking after Lecomte on his trip.
“The mission of my historic swim is to bring to light the current state of our oceans,” said Ben Lecomte. “The research we collect during ‘The Swim’ will ultimately help us better protect our oceans and I’m excited to partner with Seeker and Discovery to bring this expedition and our findings to the world.”
“‘The Swim’ is an exciting opportunity to highlight the deep connection we all have with the ocean – and the importance to protect and cherish it” said Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue and patron of expedition.
Fins crossed for a safe crossing!
(WATCH the trailer below)
If This Floats Your Boat, Share it With Your Friends – Photo by Bongaj