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Trans-Pacific bid ends after storm damages support boat

by ZwemZa on November 27th, 2018

Ben Lecomte (Red Bull)

Ben Lecomte has been forced to abandon his ambitious attempt to swim across the Pacific Ocean after his accompanying boat was damaged in a storm, but the Frenchman will continue in his quest to raise awareness concerning marine pollution.

The 51-year-old had completed more than 2,700 kilometers of his bid to become the first swimmer to traverse the world’s largest ocean before he called off the endeavor when the mainsail of his support vessel was irreparably damaged.

Lecomte set off from Japan’s east coast on June 5 and was aiming to swim 9,100 km to San Francisco but admitted defeat after falling foul of a setback he said was out of his control.

“I am very disappointed because I had not reached my mental and physical limits,” Lecomte told Reuters in an email.

“But there is nothing we can do about the weather and sea conditions, this is out of my control so I just have to accept it and be thankful that everybody is safe.

“The strong winds damaged our mainsail, and even after repairing it, our fix did not hold,” added Lecomte, who previously swam the Atlantic Ocean in 1998.

“If that happens, we can only rely on our engine, but we would not have enough fuel to get to land.”

Despite the disappointing end to his swim, Lecomte insists his primary mission will continue with the Frenchman determined to raise awareness of the plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, something he has witnessed first hand.


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