The Really Deep End: Swimmer Sets Off in Attempt at 1st Pacific Crossing - NBC 10 Philadelphia
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

The Really Deep End: Swimmer Sets Off in Attempt at 1st Pacific Crossing

Ben Lecomte is raising awareness about the health of the world's oceans and the threat of pollution

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    The Really Deep End: Swimmer Sets Off in Attempt at 1st Pacific Crossing
    Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
    French marathon swimmer Benoit "Ben" Lecomte sets off from Choshi, Chiba, in Japan on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, on his attempt at swimming across the Pacific Ocean.

    Professional distance swimmer Ben Lecomte set off from Japan to San Francisco on Tuesday in an attempt to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean.

    Spokesman Alexandre Borreil said Lecomte left at 8 a.m. on Tuesday from Choshi, Japan, which is northeast of Tokyo in neighboring Chiba prefecture. He is expected to swim eight hours daily on a journey that could take six to eight months and will cover about 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).

    "For the moment we know he left and everything went well," Borreil said.

    Organizers say Lecomte completed a similar swim across the Atlantic in 1998.

    The Ocean Agency/XL Catlin Seaview Survey/Richard Vevers

    He's doing this swim to raise awareness about the health of the world's oceans and the threat of pollution.

    Scientific teams accompanying Lecomte will collect more than 1,000 water samples and study plastic pollution, mammal migration and the effect of extreme endurance events on the human body.