We’ve heard stories of the first man to set foot on the moon, the first man to summit Mount Everest. We’ve also heard of the first nun to complete more than 300 triathlons. Yet no man has ever attempted to swim across the Pacific Ocean congested with man-eating sharks. 51-year-old Frenchman, Ben Lecomte, has begun a swim estimated at 5,500 miles from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco not just to set a record but to create awareness and to focus world attention on environmental challenges, like the plastics that are contaminating the world’s oceans.
Lecomte’s journey is documented on a website called the Longest Swim and he is expected to reach his destination six months from now. The 51-year-old is wearing a wetsuit, snorkel, fins and a shark-repelling bracelet. He swims eight hours a day and spends the rest of the time with his crew on his support craft.
“The ocean is in peril right now. It has never been done, to collect data from one end of the ocean to the other. I have been dreaming, eating, sleeping that idea. Now it’s reality,” said Lecomte before starting his swim.
Lecomte: 6 years of preparation
To make this expedition a reality, Lecomte has prepared for over 6 years and he is also the first man to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without a kickboard. He completed the solo trans-Atlantic swim covering 6,400km (4,000 miles) in 73 days in 1998.
“The mental part is much more important than the physical. You have to make sure you always think about something positive. When you don’t have anything to occupy your mind it goes into kind of a spiral, and that’s when trouble starts,” he told AFP News Agency.
To keep his arms and feet going, Lecomte consumes 8,000 calories a day and most of them come from a high-fat diet and include a lot of freeze-dry full meals, rice, pasta and various soups.
Live Tracker – thelongestswim.com/livetracker
/ 2 years ago
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