Lewis Pugh, the UN ‘Patron of the Oceans’ and renowned endurance swimmer, has announced his latest challenge, which will see him call on the British government to urgently protect the seas around the UK coast and British overseas territories.
Lewis will attempt to swim the full length of the English Channel, wearing just Speedo swimming trunks, a cap and goggles, starting at Land’s End in Cornwall on Thursday 12th July, with the swim expected to end at Dover towards the end of August.
The campaign is supported by lead partner, global forex broker FXTM, and Speedo as an official partner. The partnership marks the first global CSR initiative for FXTM.
Commenting on the partnership, Nicholas Defteras, chief executive officer of FXTM said: “We are extremely inspired by Lewis’ relentless effort for ocean preservation and we proudly welcome him as our Brand Ambassador for the next year. FXTM shares many similar values with Lewis, one being that we both take education to heart. Only through education can we make an informed decision – be it an investment strategy or making a difference for our oceans.
“We applaud Lewis’ courage and relentless enthusiasm for the ocean. By supporting him in The Long Swim, we hope that our #FXTMGoesBlue campaign will be able to inspire protection of the world’s oceans. This would make a lasting impact not only for us, but also for the generations to come.”
This route will allow me to meet people along the way for beach cleanups. We must stop plastic from entering our rivers and seas. Crucially we must also create fully protected Marine Protected Areas around the UK. #TheLongSwim pic.twitter.com/627HDqJnGS— Lewis Pugh (@LewisPugh) June 26, 2018
Surfers Against Sewage, one of the UK's leading marine conservation charities, is also a partner, hosting regular beach clean-ups along the swim route.
The Long Swim will mark the start of a worldwide campaign entitled Action for Oceans, an initiative that is calling on governments to fully protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
Over the past 30 years, the British swimmer has pioneered swims in the most challenging environments on earth including the Antarctic, the North Pole and the Himalayas.
Lewis’s latest challenge will see him swim 560km along the English coastline, averaging five hours swimming, between 10 to 20km, each day. The total length of the swim is the equivalent of crossing the Channel from Dover to Calais 16 times over.
Lewis will increase his weight to 100kg to provide vital insulation from cold water and exhaustion. The Channel Swimming Association, which has been authenticating cross-channel swims since 1927, will also observe and verify his swim.
About 1,800 people have swum across the English Channel since Captain Mathew Webb first did so in 1875. However, no-one has ever attempted to swim the length of the Channel according to Channel Swimming Association rules – just wearing Speedo swimming trunks, cap and goggles.
Discussing the role of his lead partner, Lewis commented: "I'm grateful to have FXTM's support during this challenge, which also marks the start of my year-long partnership with the leading forex broker as their brand ambassador. It gives me great hope for the future to see corporate social responsibility being embraced by FXTM in this way, and I am looking forward to building a long-term relationship with them."
"I've been swimming in the world's oceans for 30 years. This is not a long time in ecological terms, and yet I've seen the oceans change before my eyes," Pugh continues.
"I am swimming the length of the English Channel to call on the British government to urgently protect the waters that surround the UK. The truth is that only 7 square kilometres out of a total 750,000 square kilometres of the UK’s waters are fully protected. That amounts to a mere one-hundred-thousandth. This is shocking. The British Government must protect the UK coastline properly by introducing fully protected Marine Protected Areas (MPA).
"It has been shown that fully protected Marine Protected Areas give distressed and degraded seas their best chance of recovery. But the need for action is urgent, and the time to act is now. In a few years’ time, it will be too late to fix this crisis."
The challenge will be officially launched at a media event at the Institution of Civil Engineers on Tuesday 10th July.