Lewis Pugh completes 330-mile swim along length of English Channel

Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh has completed his 330-mile swim along the length of the English Channel as he urged the Government to better protect UK waters.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove welcomed the British swimmer to Dover, Kent, today after a gruelling seven week-long swim.

The 48-year-old’s "The Long Swim" came to an end at Shakespeare Beach after he set off from Land’s End in Cornwall in swimming trunks, cap and goggles on July 12.



Mr Pugh on Tuesday encouraged his supporters to join him at the finish line as he tweeted: "Swam last night. Swimming today. Dover tomorrow!! Please join me at Shakespeare Beach at 1:30pm for the end. £TheLongSwim".

His campaign, which he believed would be his "toughest" swim yet, aims to highlight plastic waste entering the seas.

Mr Pugh, who has been swimming the world’s oceans for three decades, has been covering 10km to 20km (six to 12 miles) per day.

The environmental campaigner and UN Patron of the Oceans also took part in beach cleans along his journey, organised by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage.



Before setting off, he warned of a "shocking" figure which said just seven square kilometres of 750,000 of UK coastal waters were fully protected.

He earlier told the Press Association: "My message is going to be very, very simple: our oceans are in crisis.

"Unless we take real, serious action now, it’s very difficult for me to see how they can recover.

"It’s not something you can keep putting off and putting off and putting off. We’ve done that for too long."

His swim has been observed and verified by the Channel Swimming Association.



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Lewis Pugh’s marathon swim in numbers

Here are some of the key numbers linked to his expedition:

  • 330 – the miles the endurance athlete is expected to have swum through the English Channel
  • 49 – the number of days it took for him to complete his goal despite a target of 50
  • 12 – the length in miles (19.26km) of the greatest length covered in a day
  • 30% – the proportion of seas Sky’s campaign against plastic waste wants protecting by 2030, which Mr Pugh is supporting
  • Seven – the square kilometres out of 750,000 of UK coast waters Mr Pugh warned were fully-protected
  • Three – items of clothing he has been wearing – that is swimming trunks, goggles and a cap
  • 48 – the swimmer’s age
  • Five – rest days, whether he wanted them or they were forced upon him by storms
  • 12/10 – the difficulty rating of the swim, according to Mr Pugh
  • 1.30pm – the time expected for the mission’s end at Dover’s Shakespeare Beach

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