Ocean advocate and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh’s is swimming the full length of the English Channel – from Land’s End to Dover – in a journey that is estimated to take around 50 days.
Kitted out in just his swimming trunks, a cap and goggles, Lewis Pugh is swimming one of the toughest stretches of water to call on the British Government to urgently protect the waters that surround the UK.
The long-distance swimmer his journey at Maraizon Beach in Penzance on the 11 July, and is expected to finish his long swim on 30 August.
Lewis Pugh will make his way from Land’s End to Dover – a distance of 560km – averaging five hours swimming, and covering between 10-20km, each day. The total length of the swim is the equivalent of crossing the Channel from Dover to Calais 16 times over.
The Long Swim kick starts a worldwide campaign, Action for Oceans, that calls on all governments to fully protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
The UN Patron of the Oceans and renowned endurance swimmer is swimming the full length of the English Channel wearing just Speedo swimming trunks, a cap and goggles.
About 1,800 people have swum across the English Channel since Captain Mathew Webb first did so in 1875. However, no-one has ever attempted to swim the length of the Channel just wearing Speedo swimming trunks, cap and goggles.
Over the past 30 years, the British swimmer has pioneered swims in the most challenging environments on earth including the Antarctic, the North Pole and the Himalayas. He has campaigned on behalf of the world’s last pristine marine wilderness areas. Now he is bringing his message to home waters.
In preparation for The Long Swim, Lewis Pugh trained hard in the cold and rough waters off South Africa and the Falkland Islands, swimming an average of 7 kilometres a day.
Lewis Pugh said: “I’ve been swimming in the world’s oceans for 30 years. This is not a long time in ecological terms, and yet I’ve seen the oceans change before my eyes.
“I am swimming the length of the English Channel to call on the British Government to urgently protect the waters that surround the UK. The truth is that only 7 square kilometres out of a total 750,000 square kilometres of the UK’s waters are fully protected. That amounts to a mere one-hundred-thousandth. This is shocking. The British Government must protect the UK coastline properly by introducing fully protected Marine Protected Areas (MPA).
“It has been shown that fully protected Marine Protected Areas give distressed and degraded seas their best chance of recovery. But the need for action is urgent, and the time to act is now. In a few years’ time, it will be too late to fix this crisis.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea