Frenchman to embark on Pacific challenge

A 47-year-old man from France is planning to become the first man in history to swim across the Pacific Ocean, having already been the first person to swim across the Atlantic without any flotation devices in 1998.

Benoit Lecomte will set off from Choshi in Japan next spring on a voyage which will mean he travels 5,500 miles all the way to California in the United States. He is performing the swim to raise money for Cancer Research UK, an illness which killed his father in 1991. He decided to swim the Atlantic Ocean seven years later, a journey which required him to swim 3,700 miles all the way to France.

This time though he must swim nearly 2,000 miles more, and he has announced that he will swim for eight hours a day and then sleep on a trailing catamaran from where he will resume his journey from the next morning.

The event will be shown live on Facebook, and Mr. Lecomte will be accompanied by a crew of five men who will swim alongside ensuring he is progressing well.

A microchip will be planted under his skin prior to the five month swim which will monitor his health around the clock. Sharks will be deterred from attacking him with the use of an ankle bracelet that emits a repellent magnetic field, backed up by a surrounding net to help scare off predators.

The Frenchman is looking forward to the challenge, and told the Telegraph:

“My passion is intact,” he said. “I just focus on happy moments of my journey and I am ready to take on the Pacific.”

A swimmer trying to overcome the ocean