Lewis Pugh is a British endurance swimmer who uses his ridiculous feats of strength to shed light on climate change and other environmental issues. He just broke the world record for ‘Southernmost Swim’ when he swam 1,150ft in the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea, the Southernmost stretch of Sea on the planet.
Known to go to the most extreme climates on the planet to raise awareness, Lewis Pugh swam the 1,150-feet in the Bay of Whales in water temperatures of 30-degrees Fahrenheit and air temperatures of -35 degrees Fahrenheit (with winds of 47mph). I for one couldn’t imagine a more miserable way to raise awareness than being stabbed with ice-cold needles for 1,150-feet across some of the least hospitable waters in the world, but I’m not him.
British endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh has completed a swim in the most southerly place possible on Earth, describing it as “the most terrifying place I’ve every swum”.
Mr Pugh, from Plymouth, broke the world record for the most southerly swim for the second time in 10 days, as he battles to complete a series of swims in the freezing waters of the Antarctic to raise awareness of the need for a vast protected area in the region’s Ross Sea.
The oceans campaigner completed a 350 metre (1,150 ft) swim in the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea, the most southerly stretch of open sea on Earth, which was so-named by explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton due to the number of killer whales in the area.
Swimming in just his Speedos, Mr Pugh had to contend with a sea temperature of minus 1C, an air temperature of minus 37C and wind gusting at 40 knots, or 47mph (75kph).
He said: “The Bay of Whales is the most terrifying place I’ve ever swum.
“During the swim, a wave broke over my support boat, I took another stroke and when I looked up, the seawater had frozen on my crew. They were caked in ice instantly – that’s how cold it was.”
Mr Pugh, who has also swum in the Arctic, in a lake on Everest and in the Seven Seas of Europe and the Middle East, wants to see a vast protected area established in the Antarctic’s “pristine” Ross Sea, with damaging activities such as fishing banned.
The swimmer hopes his swims will encourage the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), 24 countries and the EU responsible for creating marine protected areas in the region, to give the sea protection.
Some photos of his world record attempt:
For more on Lewis Pugh’s swimming expeditions across the world you can check out this TED Talk on his swim in Antarctica: