Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Next stop San Francisco as ’longest swim’ embarks from Tokyo

French swimmer Benoit'Ben Lecomte who previously swam solo across the Atlantic in 1998 is facing an epic 5,500-mile solo swim across the Pacific French swimmer Benoit'Ben Lecomte who previously swam solo across the Atlantic in 1998 is facing an epic 5,500-mile solo swim across the Pacific
Sandy Nunez | 08 June, 2018, 02:50

The swimmer is hoping to raise awareness of the plastic waste and ocean pollution blighting the water, with his support team hoping to carry out experiments throughout the trip, which is expected to take between six and eight months.

A 51-year-old Frenchman has embarked on a long-distance swim in shark-infested waters - a journey which will take him thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to San Francisco. He could face sharks, cold temperatures and storms during the swim, CBS reported.

Mr Lecomte, who lives in the USA, has been preparing with hours of open water swimming every day.

"To do the physical aspect of it, yea, it is hard, but what is much more hard is to be in that very hostile environment, and the mind has to be super strong", he said.

They will study plastic debris, the effect of extreme exercise on the heart and examine how the Fukushima nuclear disaster has affected the ocean. "You have to make sure you always think about something positive or you always have something to think about", he said, reflecting on the task ahead.

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"The worst thing that can happen is not knowing what you are going to do with your mind and going to the wrong place", he said.

"More than six years of preparations have lead to this moment". In 1998, he became the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean - crossing roughly 3,700 miles in 73 days.

His first word were "never again" when he reached dry land in France, but it wasn't long before he started looking for a new challenge.

He will be accompanied throughout by the 20-metre (67-foot) support boat Discoverer, where he will eat, rest and sleep before being dropped every morning where he stopped the previous evening. "Most of my calories will come from a high-fat diet and include a lot of freeze-dry full meals, rice, pasta and various soups", he posted during a Reddit interview earlier this month.

The support boat will have an Global Positioning System tracker, and anyone who wants to follow Lecomte's journey can do so on his website.