Wednesday, 20 June, 2018


The man made a decision to swim across the Pacific ocean

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Kristine Garrett | 08 June, 2018, 01:03

Ben Lecomte, a French long-distance swimmer, dropped into the water Tuesday at Choshi, Japan, and embarked on his attempt to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean, BBC News reports.

On his way from eastern Japan to San Francisco - a distance of 5,600 miles - the 51-year-old swimmer will encounter a lot of those microplastic particles, most of which have broken down from larger plastic items.

The journey will also take him through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area where plastic and debris have accumulated that is three times the size of France.

"I'm very anxious to start right now", said Mr Lecomte, before he took to the water on Tuesday at 9am local time under warm conditions and a slight breeze.

Lecomte will be accompanied by a specially outfitted support boat named Discoverer.

"I need to be physically prepared, of course, but more than that I need to be mentally ready".

One of the challenges will be making sure he has enough energy each day, and Lecomte said he intends to consume 8,000 calories daily.

Teams of scientists are also accompanying the swimmer and will collect more than 1,000 water samples and study plastic pollution and mammal migration.

"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.

"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. "Now, everywhere I go on the beach, I see plastic everywhere".

"I try to disassociate my mind from my body and everything that happens to my body- pain or cold, I try to put aside".

After successfully completing the Atlantic swim in 1998, Lecomte vowed "never again" to set off on a long-distance sea journey.

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

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