Swimmer attempts Pacific crossing
June 11, 2018 -- Ben Lecomte, 51, aims to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean, covering 9,000km from Tokyo to San Francisco in six months while raising awareness of the state of ocean health.
Lecomte, who set off on June 5 from from Choshi, Japan, which is northeast of Tokyo, is expected to swim eight hours daily on a journey that could take six to eight months.
He will be accompanied by a 67-foot sailboat and each day a smaller inflatable motorboat will lead him in the water, keeping him on-course.
Scientific teams accompanying Lecomte will collect more than 1,000 water samples and study plastic pollution, mammal migration and the effect of extreme endurance events on the human body. They will also study the impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on the ocean.
Much of Lecomte's backing comes from scientific publisher Seeker.com, who will be providing daily updates on his progress as well as promoting research on the data collected by the support team.
During his epic journey, he will swim across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a key area for research as it is the biggest concentration of microplastic in the open ocean.
Lecomte, who faces dangers including storms, swarms of jellyfish, and extremely low temperatures, wears a bracelet that creates a magnetic field to repel sharks.
When Ben Lecomte stepped onto land for the first time after swimming across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998, he told himself ‘never again’.