The last time Lewis Pugh went for a dip, the air was negative 37°C (35 F), so cold that the spray from the Antarctic ocean froze when it hit his support boat. He then willingly plunged into the below freezing water, in just a Speedo costume, and started to swim. It’s what he has been doing for more than 10 years now, braving the coldest places on earth to bring attention to a warming planet.
He’s the first human to have completed a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world. He’s probably best known for undertaking the first swim across the North Pole 10 years ago to highlight the melting of the Arctic Sea ice. A few years later, he swam across a glacial lake on Mt Everest to draw attention to the melting of the glaciers in the Himalayas.
This Cambridge educated lawyer willingly swims to the edge of death to capture the attention of world leaders, tweeting out his frigid exploits in real time and documenting every stroke with his own film team.
Last year, his unusual brand of so called “speedo diplomacy” scored a monumental success. He was credited by the UN for helping to secure the protection of the Ross Sea in Antarctica, an area the size of Germany, UK, Italy, and France combined. Now, he’s on a mission to protect what he calls the “Polar Garden of Eden” in the waters around Antarctica, a collection of six near pristine areas around the continent, the size of Australia. He’ll dive into the Scotia Sea, just off Elephant Island, where Sir Ernest Shackleton’s crew were marooned 101 years ago. He’ll get there aboard an expedition ship from Uruguay, which will sail to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and then across the famed Drake Passage, probably the most feared stretch of ocean in the world, to Antarctica. His planned swim will be the first ever attempted in these waters, and the water is expected to be below 0°C (32 F).
Until then, he’ll be shuttling between Moscow, the UN and Westminster. Lewis Pugh is an unlikely diplomat, whose breathtaking swims in freezing waters have won him the ear of the 24 nations responsible for protecting Antarctica and the EU.Join him in Antarctica for this, his most challenging swim to date. He will be braving an icy ocean teaming with wildlife to show us just what it takes to secure the largest conservation plan in history.
There are 7 berths available for international media.
The expedition ship departs Montevideo, Uruguay on the 29th of October and arrives in Ushuaia, Argentina on 15 November.
All requests to be made to press [at] lewispugh.com.
Alternatively, if you would like to receive press releases during the expedition, please e-mail info [at] lewispugh.com
Pic credit: Kelvin Trautman