Monday, 18 June, 2018

Swimming - Frenchman begins Pacific Ocean crossing attempt

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
Cary Marshall | 08 June, 2018, 00:30

Ben Lecomte dived into the water off the coast of Choshi, east of Tokyo, on Tuesday morning, planning to reach San Francisco in six months' time in an attempt to raise awareness about the ocean's health.

That's the term scientists use to describe billions of pieces of microplastic in the sea. He designed his route to pass through a collection of micro-plastic refuse roughly the size of Germany, France and Britain combined.

He plans to swim eight hours at a time, eating 8,000 calories a day and resting each evening on a support boat.

Lecomte is shaking off any personal threat.

"When you don't have anything to occupy your mind, it goes into kind of a spiral, and that's when trouble starts", he said.

In this picture taken on June 3, 2018, French swimmer Benoit "Ben" Lecomte poses during an interview with AFP in Choshi, Chiba prefecture.

'Pollution of the ocean has a big impact, ' said the father-of-two, who will be gathering oceanographic and medical data for 27 scientific organisations, including NASA.

More news: Socceroos World Cup Squad Named

Mr Lecomte, who previously swam across the Atlantic in 1998, admitted he would probably hit a "wall" after four to six hours of swimming.

"I break it down into sections during which I relive past events with my family, or I try to picture a city that I have never visited, walk through its streets and visualise people", he said in.

'It made me think what (the) future for my kids is going to be like.

"If we are all aware of it then after it is much easier to take action and to change our behaviour because the solution is in our hands".

"To complete the swim is just one goal", Lecomte said.

"What is going to be hard is every morning going back in the water (because) you hit a wall, normally after 4-6 hours", he said of the mental challenge.

"It didn't happen very soon after the Atlantic (swim) because I got married, I had children, so I put that aside".

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