Oceans-advocate and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh became the first person to swim underneath an Antarctic Ice sheet on Jan. 23. He did it to highlight the effects of climate change.
Pugh, 50, swam one kilometre in a supra-glacial lake, which forms when meltwater from a glacier collects on the surface of an ice sheet.
He says he was shocked by the amount of water he saw down there.
“What is happening in East Antarctica now is very, very frightening. We need to join the dots about what is happening around the world. I have no doubt whatsoever that we’re facing a climate catastrophe.”
It took him 10 minutes and 17 seconds to complete the swim in the icy tunnel in East Antarctica. But he said it “felt like 10 days.”
Pugh swam underneath the ice in nothing but swim briefs and goggles.
Straight after the swim, Pugh — who also serves as patron of the oceans for the United Nations — travelled to Moscow to have discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government to advocate for setting up a marine protected area in Eastern Antarctica.
East Antarctica is the coldest place on earth, and yet I was able to swim down a river under the ice-sheet. It was the most beautiful and terrifying experience of my life, and comes with an important message for us all. https://t.co/kl3eAkgXcS Please share. #Antarctica2020 pic.twitter.com/is1KK4MvEH
— Lewis Pugh (@LewisPugh) January 27, 2020
This swimmer, who is the first person to complete a long-distance swim in every ocean, dove under the Antarctic ice sheet in a speedo to show the impact of the climate crisis pic.twitter.com/VDiOabQM85
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 1, 2020
50-year-old Lewis Pugh is known for swimming in arctic water to raise awareness for climate change, but on January 23, he became the first person to swim in a supraglacial lake: a lake that has formed on top of a glacier due to melting ice https://t.co/BoBHnNe4pW pic.twitter.com/QsWyPy5rfi
— CNN (@CNN) February 4, 2020