Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

First swimmer to cross the Atlantic now trying to span the Pacific

First swimmer to cross the Atlantic now trying to span the Pacific

Rather than being made up of large pieces of plastic, most of the pollution is made up of invisible pieces of microplastic that sit in the water like a "plastic smog", he said.

He will face giant waves, sharks and jellyfish, and will also swim through part of the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" in his attempt to be the first to accomplish the feat of swimming across the world's biggest ocean. He was joined for the first 100 metres by his 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. "It's very emotional for a lot of people here".

Accompanied by a nine-person support team, Mr Lecomte is hoping to raise awareness for climate change as his team of scientists conducts research during the six-month swim.

"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.

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"When I was little and I was with my father walking on the beach, I didn't see any plastic, or hardly any", he said.

Lecomte told Reuters news agency that he plans to swim for eight hours and burn off more than 8,000 calories every day.

"You have to make sure you always think about something positive", he says. He will swim for eight hours, jump on board the support boat to eat and sleep, and then enter the water again.

He will also wear a device to test levels of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was hit by a tsunami in 2011.

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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.

"I have a schedule of what I'm going to think about for those eight hours... it's always about keeping my mind occupied".

Although he vowed "never again" to take on a long-distance swim, he was inspired by his children to get back into the water.

His Atlantic crossing in 1998 was never ratified by Guinness World Records because it could not be verified that he had resumed his swims at the exact point he stopped the previous day.

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