In 1998, accompanied by a sailboat with an electromagnetic field designed to ward off sharks, Lecomte attempted to become the first person to swim the Atlantic ocean without a kickboard. The 3,716-mile journey took 73 days to complete. An achievement that's even more impressive when you consider Lecomte is an architect and not a professional athlete.
We caught up with Benoit back in 2019 as he was preparing for his next challenge.
Why do you swim?
I swim to highlight the issues of marine plastic pollution and raise awareness about the tenuous state of our oceans. My next mission will be a 300-nautical-mile swim through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Weighing nearly 90,000 tonnes, this island of plastic waste is six times the size of the UK and can be found floating in the ocean between Hawaii and California. I'll be collecting samples and data to contribute towards the global scientific knowledge on this extraordinary toxic mass.
I'll swim 300 nautical miles in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (one nautical mile for every million tonnes of plastic produced per year). Once I've done 300 nautical miles in the patch, I'll swim to California. I can't wait to get started!
Throughout the mission I'll collect data and samples to contribute to the common global scientific knowledge and spread the message about marine plastic pollution. I hope it inspires people to take action and make changes in their daily life to reduce marine plastic pollution.