David & Goliath

October 06, 2016 03:00 ET

Crossing the Pacific: From Tokyo to San Francisco, Ben Lecomte Takes the Plunge for Science and Sustainability with The Longest Swim

Long distance swimmer Ben Lecomte announced the Spring 2017 launch of his world record swim across the Pacific Ocean, a 5,500-mile journey in support of science and sustainability.

"I want to use swimming to show people that their everyday behaviors have a direct impact on the environment, even in the middle of the ocean."

-Ben Lecomte

AUSTIN, TEXAS--(Marketwired - Oct. 6, 2016) - Ben Lecomte is stepping into his wetsuit and tackling his second ocean. After becoming the first man to swim across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998, he is now ready for his next challenge: He'll be raising awareness of the ever-growing sustainability issues facing our planet and contributing to oceanic and medical research by swimming across the Pacific Ocean in The Longest Swim.

Swimming 8 hours a day for 6 months, he'll be escorted by Discoverer: a 67-foot steel-hulled sailing yacht housing 8 crew members. Discoverer will help him mark his GPS location when he breaks for the day and bring him back to the exact spot to resume his swim the next morning.

Over the years, Lecomte noticed an increasing amount of plastic floating in the oceans. This realization inspired him to swim across the Pacific.

"I want to use swimming to show people that their everyday behaviors have a direct impact on the environment, even in the middle of the ocean," says Lecomte, who is working with organizations like The Climate Group, Progea and World Oceans Day.
Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling is also a sponsor of The Longest Swim, and helped host the kick-off for The Longest Swim at the University of Texas alongside Ben.

"More importantly, I want individuals to realize they can make small changes to create a big difference."

The Longest Swim will be the first citizen science expedition of its kind, as a team of researchers from 12 scientific institutions-including NASA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution-will conduct studies during the journey. From plastic pollution to space exploration, this adventure is a unique opportunity to collect data and learn more about the oceans and how the human body reacts in extreme conditions.

Leading up to the big splash in Spring 2017, the crew is working on the delivery of the Discoverer from the UK to the California coast, where Ben will get in the water and try his equipment in real conditions this winter. You can follow their preparations online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the Longest Swim website.

To view the press kit : http://file.marketwire.com/release/LongestSwimPressKit.pdf

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