Renowned endurance swimmer and United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh completed the first leg of his Seven Swims in the Seven Seas for 1 Reason campaign to highlight the need for, and importance of Marine Protected Areas on the global agenda.
Lewis completed his swim from Larvotto Beach in Monte Carlo, Monaco and was met by Prince Albert II as he finished the 10km leg which took him three hours and thirty three minutes (see attached picture).
Immediately afterwards Lewis said: “It was very choppy, the wind picked up throughout the day and it made it a lot tougher than I expected. Prince Albert was very interested in the Seven Seas campaign, and appreciated that we had chosen Monaco to launch the first of the swims.
“He congratulated me and gave a book and cap and asked me to be an ambassador for his foundation of which I’m delighted to be.
“It’s very clear about how passionate he is about the ocean – he has done a great deal for the maritime environment. He’s a very nice guy.”
Lewis swam out from the beach for 5km and then returned to the beach where he was met by Prince Albert II. He had the full support of the Monaco Maritime Police who provided an escort for the swim keeping him safe as he passed massive cruise ships. Lewis was also joined by Pierre Frolla, the former world free-diving champion from Monaco who was on the boat alongside him as he swam.
Follow Lewis’s progress via his website, www.lewispugh.com Twitter @LewisPugh #7Seas and Facebook – Lewis Pugh. You Tube via Mr Ben Brown.
Today, Lewis travels to his next destination of Zadar, Croatia (Kornati Islands) where he will undertake a 15km swim in the Adriatic Sea.
It’s a long flight from Africa to Northern Europe, and the Adriatic Sea provides a vital respite for migratory birds. Many bird species use the Adriatic’s coast and wetlands to rest and recuperate before journeying on. Sadly, hunters also anticipate the rest period; they lie in wait for the exhausted birds and pick them off in their thousands. The critically endangered slender-billed curlew has been reduced to as few as 50 individuals in the world. Lewis is dedicating his Croatian swim off Zadar to highlighting the near extinction of this unassuming species, and the tragic loss of many others. Along with a call for more MPAs, this swim will highlight the need for a ban on bird hunting in and around MPAs with vulnerable bird populations.
For further information, interviews and pictures throughout Lewis’s journey please contact Louise Plank or Victoria Hartley-Wilson at Plank PR, +44 20 8995 3936.
Photo: (c) Kelvin Troutman