French swimmer Benoît Lecomte is currently on a historic swim across the entire Pacific Ocean. But his feat of "The Longest Swim" is seeing an unfortunate reality of plastic waste in the ocean. While he attempts to swim 5,500 miles he is also raising awareness about plastic pollution. Lecomte has revealed that every 5 minutes of his swim, he is seeing plastic pieces. Plastic Pollution: Microplastics Found in the World's Remotest Ocean by Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme.
Lecomte is headed towards San Franciso from Japan. He started in June and his plan was originally to be completed in 180 days. The 51-year-old swims about 8 hours per day and is undergoing tough challenges along his way. He has battled through two typhoons and rough seas, where he headed back to the port in Japan until it was safe to return to the sea. Plastic Pollution: Stork With Plastic Ring Around Beak Rescued by Officials, Under Observation.
As Lecomte swims through vast ocean waters, he has encountered different species of wildlife. But while that is overwhelming, he has seen plastic debris almost every 5 minutes, which he and his team are collecting. In an interview to Business Insider, he said, "We see two pieces of plastic on the surface every five minutes. What is very surprising to me and everyone on the boat is the amount of plastic that we found, and the fact that we found it everywhere." His team has special nets to pick out this plastic debris and they encounter four microplastics every minute along the journey.
Microplastics in the oceans are affecting the marine life constantly and it is high time we need to stop dumping our wastes into the sea. The microplastics that are already floating inside the ocean is causing irreparable damage. Lecomte is not even along the coast, he is in the middle of the ocean and the intensity of plastics is disturbing. This shows how ocean currents work and cause the debris to flow along the deeper waters. “Every time that I am in the water, it’s another opportunity for me to get the attention of, or inspire people to maybe limit their use of single-use plastic," said Lecomte.