When he was 17 years old, Lewis Pugh swam the 4.3 miles between South Africa’s Robben Island and Blouberg Beach. He’d only been training for a month, and the crew aboard his support boat were taking bets, certain that he’d never make it.
Yet make it he did, arriving three hours after setting off. He now swims the world’s oceans in some of the least hospitable climates imaginable, to draw attention to the damage being done to the Earth’s fragile ecosystems. He’s paddled his way through sub-zero temperatures and narrowly escaped sea lions. Last year, his efforts paid off when a protected marine area six times the size of the UK was introduced in the Antarctic. Now he’s heading to the Antarctic again, to highlight the threat that fishing poses to local wildlife.