Lewis Pugh is a long-distance, endurance swimmer who has made it his personal mission to protect the world’s oceans. The only man to have completed a long distance swim in every ocean in the world, Pugh combines the stories of his incredibly difficult feats with the alarming retreat of glacial ice, the proliferation of plastic waste and the marked decrease in marine biodiversity, with a uniquely urgent sense of pathos. Pugh always swims following the Channel Swimming Rules (only in speedos, a cap and goggles), whether that be in the North Pole or the glacial lakes of the Himalayas, which always draws acclaim and amazement.
Pugh’s most notable achievement would arguably be his role the creation of the largest marine reserve in the world in the Ross Sea off Antarctica, which ensured the continued survival of one of the last pristine ocean wildernesses. Pugh continues to fight for the seas, with more cold-water swims planned to grow the reserve to 7 million square km by 2020. Pugh’s attention-grabbing swims have made him one of the most influential figures in marine conservation. We all hope that the brilliantly named “speedo diplomat” keeps swimming for our oceans!