Swimmer ready to start record Pacific crossing

Katie Ramirez
June 8, 2018

The swimmer is hoping to raise awareness of the plastic waste and ocean pollution blighting the water, with his support team hoping to carry out experiments throughout the trip, which is expected to take between six and eight months.

"I knew I was going to come back to that project eventually", Lecomte said.

Researchers believe that 92 per cent of the garbage consists of larger pieces of trash, while eight per cent contained microplastics.

The plan is for Lecomte to swim for eight hours each day, and eat and sleep aboard the yacht which has some 2.8 tonnes of food.

The team, working with 12 scientific institutions, including NASA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will conduct oceanic and medical research throughout the journey.

Lecomte, whose departure took place on World Environment Day, has said he is concerned about the effect of pervasive plastic pollution on marine ecosystems.

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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.

"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. "Now, everywhere I go, on the beach I see plastic everywhere", he says. "It's a problem we created and there is a very easy solution to start reversing it-single-use plastics for example, if we stop using them that will make a big change".

"To do the physical aspect of it, sure it is hard and all that but what is much more hard is to be in that very hostile environment, to do that days in and days out, to push you and to push your limits, then the mind has to be super strong".

After having a shark follow him for five days during his Atlantic crossing, Lecomte is prepared this time, with a shark repellant bracelet. Ahead lie several months of unpredictable and at times turbulent weather, extremely cold water, not to mention the danger posed by sharks and jellyfish.

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

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