A French swimmer
has set off on an attempt to become the first person to swim across the Pacific. Benoît Lecomte, 51, hopes to raise awareness of plastic pollution and climate change by swimming through the “great Pacific garbage patch” – an area of accumulated debris more than twice the size of France. Lecomte was the first person to cross the Atlantic without a kickboard, in 1998, and has spent seven years preparing for this journey. He plans to swim the 5,500 miles from Choshi, Japan, to San Francisco in six months, swimming for eight hours a day. Aboard the support boat where he will sleep, scientists will be researching plastic contamination.