Frenchman begins Pacific Ocean crossing attempt

  • Frenchman begins Pacific Ocean crossing attempt

Frenchman begins Pacific Ocean crossing attempt

That doesn't even begin to cover it. Lecomte, a Frenchman now living in Texas, is attempting a six-month, 5,600-mile swim across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco.

That's the term scientists use to describe billions of pieces of microplastic in the sea.

Battling sharks and jellyfish, the passionate environmentalist hopes his epic mission from Tokyo to San Francisco will raise awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans - an obstacle that could prove to be his most risky foe.

Past of Lecomte's journey will take him through a 1,600-kilometres floating pile of garbage that is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The 50-year-old's plan is to swim for eight hours a day, as well as consume over 8,000 calories, as he undertakes an extraordinary journey that is part-adventure and part-scientific experiment.

Lecomte is shaking off any personal threat.

"When you don't have anything to occupy your mind it goes into kind of a spiral, and that's when trouble starts".

"Now every time I go with my kids, we see plastic everywhere".

"When I was little and I was with my father walking on the beach, I didn't see any plastic, or hardly any".

The rest of the time he will rest, sleep and eat on the 67-foot support boat Discoverer that will drop him back in the water at the same spot he exits every day. This is far from the first challenge Lecomte has taken up.

"If we are all aware of it then after it is much easier to take action and to change our behaviour because the solution is in our hands".

In 1998, Lecomte swam across the Atlantic Ocean, starting in MA and finishing in France, the BBC reported.

His team will collect water samples to learn more about the build-up of micro-plastics littering the area.

"To complete the swim is just one goal", Lecomte said.

His training included hours of open water swimming, and "visualization" exercises to prepare mentally.

"It didn't happen very soon after the Atlantic (swim) because I got married, I had children, so I put that aside".