Ben Lecomte is nearing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but his boat suffered irreparable damages after facing storms in the Pacific Ocean. The broken sail is a devastating blow to Ben’s record effort, yet he and the crew are determined to gather unique ocean data from the garbage patch and entry corridor.
Ben started his journey in Choshi, Japan, on June 5, 2018 en route to San Francisco, CA, in an effort to be the first person to swim across the Pacific and to help raise awareness about the health of our oceans. The broken sail has forced his crew to reevaluate the viability of the journey. To date, Ben has swum an average of eight hours a day over the last five months, and has covered roughly 1,500 nautical miles to reach a tributary of what’s commonly referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — the world’s largest accumulation zone of ocean plastic. Along the way, Ben has regularly encountered garbage and plastic pollution, violent typhoons, and severe storms and technical challenges.
“The Swim has been challenging for us as we’ve continued to face treacherous winds and ocean swells. Unfortunately, our sail suffered irreparable damages, forcing us to alter our course and timing,” said Ben Lecomte. “Safety is our number one priority, and at this point, the team is exploring all options in an effort to continue into the gateway of the Garbage Patch.”