Explorers Connect

Life After 'The Swim' for Ben Lecomte and Crew

Wild Night Out

In 1998 long-distance swimmer, Ben Lecomte, became the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Then, last year, he was the first person to attempt to swim across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness towards the oceans health.

On June 5th, Ben and his support crew of nine (helped put together by Explorers Connect) left Japan in an attempt to make it to San Francisco six months later. During their 165 days at sea, Ben and the crew experienced countless encounters with marine life, from whales to hundreds of dolphins and even false killer whales.  

More surprising than the wildlife was the daily encounters with plastic and marine trash, an extremely confronting experience for everyone on board.  Collecting data for more than 30 scientific institutes, the crew gathered more than 1,500 scientific samples. One of the most staggering findings was from their net tows, which found an average of two micoplastics every minute.

After battling increasingly bad weather and even running from the occasional typhoons, Ben and the crew were forced to retreat to Hawaii when their support boat received unrepairable damage to its mainsail. (Best summarized in this video No Place Like Home.)

Motivated by their experiences with plastic pollution, Ben and a few of his crewmembers have now focused their sole attention towards ocean health, in particular the impact from plastic pollution. Ben has currently put his world record attempt to swim across the ocean aside, and will be focused on swimming through a higher accumulation zone of plastic. Starting in May this year, Ben will be swimming through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, along with ten other crewmembers to continue their transpacific data set.

The crew are now seeking new crazy, fun, passionate and skilled volunteers to help Ben on the next leg of the adventure! They’re looking for new crewmembers to volunteer on a 3-month swimming/sailing expedition from Hawaii to California. Positions include marine engineers, scientists, sailors, medics, influencers and plastic warriors available from May to September 2019. To help support Ben’s swim through the patch, while also collecting valuable scientific samples, with the goal to raise awareness on plastic pollution and help uncover the myth of the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’.  (More in this video from the first expedition: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Not What You Think It Is.)

 Previous sailing experience is preferred but not required. For your chance to be involved in this huge adventure make sure you like Ben’s social page (Instagram @BenLecomteTheSwim and Facebook Ben Lecomte The Swim) and send a introduction letter + CV to the team to join@thelongestswim.com