Ben Lecomte Is Out in the Ocean Again, This Time for the Environment

Noted long-distance swimmer Ben Lecomte is making waves again as he is out there in the Pacific Ocean as we speak. He is embarking on a thousand miles’ journey from Asia to America by swimming.

Eight hours a day, seven days a week, and six months out in the sun and into the sea, what is Lecomte doing in the vast ocean?

The Man and the Ocean

Swimming across the ocean is a passion for Benoit “Ben” Lecomte who landed on the Oprah Winfrey Show and headlines worldwide in 1998 when he swam 3,716 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The first to arguably do this feat without a kickboard, he swam to honor his father and raise funds for cancer research.

This time around, Lecomte is doing the journey across the Pacific Ocean for the environment. On June 5, he embarked from Choshi, Japan to swim his way to San Francisco, California. The journey is expected to cover 5,500 miles in six months.

Now a father (he got engaged when he left for the Atlantic swim), Lecomte is concerned about human garbage finding its way into the seas and oceans. In fact, in one interview, he mused how he rarely sees plastic when he swims in the ocean. But, that’s clearly not the case now.

Doing It for Science

By swimming across the Pacific, he hopes to raise awareness about how plastics and other human garbage are negatively affecting the marine life. He aspires for everyone to make a difference in mitigating this problem, starting with sustainability being taught at schools.

He is accompanied by a team of scientists on board his ship, Seeker. They will be collecting data and samples for their research tracking microplastics, planktons, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster’s impact on the ocean.

The team will also be studying Lecomte himself, the effect this long-distance swimming has on his physical and mental well-being.

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