After six years of planning, French Swimmer Benoît Lecomte is now attempting to be the first man to swim across the Pacific Ocean.
The said swimmer started his expedition in Choshi, Japan, a seaside region near Narita and Tokyo last June 5. After only being more than a week in his journey, his team has already detected 2 five-foot sharks and even a 3-foot one swimming near him, reported The Best Quest. However, Lecomte is wearing a shark repellent bracelet to protect him.
Additionally, the US-based swimmer is also equipped with an armband that will track the radiation level in the sea while he is swimming near Fukushima. Lecomte is set to swim eight hours a day through jellyfish-infested regions, the White Shark Migrations, the Pacific Garbage Patch, not to mention very cold seas.
The swimmer plans to accomplish this almost impossible feat of swimming a total of 5,500 miles from Japan to San Francisco in six months. By day 3, Lecomte and his team went back to shore because of a major storm that they need to let pass before continuing with the voyage.
"There is a long list of forces outside of my control that I can't change, this only thing I can change is the way I think about them and react. Weather is on top of this list," he tweeted.
Lecomte's only crew are six men on a 67-foot yacht named Discoverer.
Raise Awareness and Conduct Research
Lecomte aims to highlight sustainable behavior to help the environment and wants people to be mindful of the harm microplastics are causing to the ocean.
"I think it's my duty to use my passion to make a little change. We have to find what our role is if we want to preserve what we have," he said in an interview with NPR.
Apart from also advocating for climate change, Lecomte and his crew will be conducting an oceanic and medical research under the supervision of researchers from 12 scientific institutions including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and NASA. The team will be focusing on 8 different subjects regarding the concentrations of plastic pollution and the way extreme exercise benefits the heart.
In 1998, the 51-year-old swimmer has already completed a solo swim across the Atlantic Ocean in just 73 days and although he made an announcement that he would not do it again, his thirst for adventure prevailed.
"It didn't take that long for me to change my mind. Three, four months afterward I was already thinking about my next adventure and doing something kind of the same," he told Forbes.
To prove that he swam across the Pacific, Lecomte will be wearing a GPS tracker. Follow his progress here.