MOST people recycle their rubbish or walk to the shops instead of driving to help do their bit for the environment, but Ben Lecomte is causing a storm with his latest idea, The Longest Swim.

Ben Lecomte getting ready for training

In Spring 2017, Lecomte will launch his latest venture – swimming eight hours a day for six months, across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to San Francisco. One stroke at a time he is aiming to raise worldwide awareness for environmental sustainability and the impact that we have on our oceans.

The long-distance swimmer from France is well known for being the first man to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without a kickboard in 1998.

Lecomte said: “I want to use swimming to show people that their everyday behaviours have a direct impact on the environment, even in the middle of the ocean.”

Lecomte and his crew of eight, who will follow on Discoverer  (a 67-foot steel-hulled sailing yacht), will conduct oceanic and medical research for 12 scientific institutions including NASA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution during their 5,500-mile journey.


Dr. Benjamin Levine, from the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, said: “One of the unique aspects of Lecomte’s swim, above and beyond its importance for studying the effects of extraordinary endurance activity on the heart, is that it provides a very good model for long term spaceflight.”

Eight million metric tons of plastic is estimated to enter the oceans each year, some of which can be found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Part of Lecomte’s journey will include swimming 1000 miles through the debris in this patch.

Swimming is not everyone’s first choice of travel but Lecomte is about to prove that anyone can do it:

“I’m not an Olympic swimmer, I’m an adventurer who likes to swim.”

Follow his journey here:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *