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Lewis Pugh in The Longest Swim, 350 miles from Land's End to Dover, for Action for Oceans campaign

The first person due to swim the entire length of the English Channel finishes in Dover next week.

Lewis Pugh is expected to reach Shakespeare Beach next Wednesday afternoon.

It will be the end of a 350-mile venture to campaign about sea pollution.

Mr Pugh on his first week os swimming from Land's End. Picture by Kelvin Trautman
Mr Pugh on his first week os swimming from Land's End. Picture by Kelvin Trautman

The venture is in co-ordination with the Channel Swimming Association and he will be greeted by its president on the beach.

Mr Pugh, 48, had started his epic swim from Land's End on July 12 and today, his 42nd day in the water, he is south of Hastings.

At the present rate of progress he will arrive at Dover on his 49th day, within his 50-day target.

Team spokesman David Bush told Kent Online today: "Lewis is still going strong. He has had pain in his shoulders but has had some very good physiotherapy.

"We are doing a double swim today to mitigate for days be might not be able to go in the water because of the weather.

"The weather has been volatile. On Sunday he had to swim at night because of the choppy waters during the day."

"He is now just 75km (46 miles) from Dover."

Shakespeare Beach, Dover. Picture: Google Maps
Shakespeare Beach, Dover. Picture: Google Maps

Mr Pugh will be met on the beach by CSA president Michael Read, who will present him a plaque.

Mr Read has himself swum across the Channel 33 times and undertaken many other swims around the world.

Susan Ractliffe, CSA administration secretary, said: "Lewis has been amazing throughout this swim despite having to overcome the harsh conditions along the length of the Channel.

" He has come across jellyfish, whirlpools, injury, more recently storms which hindered his swim and has showed great tenacity throughout. Lewis is so passionate about our seas and it is great to see the message getting across to people as they see him on his arduous journey. He even went back to retrieve a helium balloon from the sea at the end of a long day swimming. A perfect demonstration!

"We wish Lewis all the best on his last week of swimming and will be following him closely as we have done so thus far."

Mr Pugh is following CSA rules by wearing just Speedo swimming trunks, a cap and goggles.

The CSA observes and regulates the annual 21-mile cross-Channel swims. and Mr Pugh's 560km venture is equivalent to 16 crossings between Dover and Calais.

Lewis Pugh at the launch of The Long Swim in London on July 10. Picture: Harry Peet
Lewis Pugh at the launch of The Long Swim in London on July 10. Picture: Harry Peet

His team had hoped for him to come ashore on the more central Dover Harbour beach but that can't be done because of the present Western Docks redevelopmentthere.

A spokesman for the Port of Dover said: "We are facilitating the use of Shakespeare Beach as swimming restrictions are in place due to the current DWDR (Dover Western Docks Revival) piling works in Dover Harbour.

"Shakespeare Beach is also where Channel swimmers from around the world depart and return – and it is a famous internationally recognised beach for this purpose.

"We are liaising with Mr Pugh's event team in order to facilitate the legal permissions required for them to stage an event of this nature."

His feat, called The Long Swim, is to illustrate his call on the British Government to urgently protect the seas around the UK coast and British Overseas Territories.

Mr Pugh said on his website: “I'm undertaking my toughest swim yet, so that I can call on the British government, and all the governments of the world, to strengthen our ocean protection. Because doing the right thing has to start at home. "

He added: "I will not stop until I see the White Cliffs of Dover."

Lewis Pugh at the launch of The Long Swim on July 10, showing the course of his previous marathon swim in the Arctic.Picture: Harry Peet
Lewis Pugh at the launch of The Long Swim on July 10, showing the course of his previous marathon swim in the Arctic.Picture: Harry Peet

This swim marks the beginning of a worldwide campaign called Action for Oceans, which calls on governments to ensure that at least 30% of oceans are fully protected by 2030.

He announced his venture in London on July 10.

It is in a sea with average temperatures of 14C to 18C.

Cold and exhaustion are his biggest problems but he is also going through the world's busiest shipping lane.

He is scheduled is to swim every day for about five hours.

Mr Pugh is the only person to have completed a long-distance swim in every ocean in the world, including the Arctic and Antarctic.

In 2007 he took on the first one across the North Pole, wearing just Speedos, to highlight the melting of Arctic sea ice.

Mr Pugh, a Briton and South African, was born in Plymouth and was a maritime lawyer in London before becoming a full-time ocean advocate.

He was appointed the first UN Patron of the Oceans.


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