Swimmer Lewis Pugh completes 330-mile swim of English Channel

Lewis Pugh has completed his marathon swim of the English channel. Picture: jamesbrown@welcometofrank.com
Lewis Pugh has completed his marathon swim of the English channel. Picture: jamesbrown@welcometofrank.com
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Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh has completed his 330-mile swim along the length of the English Channel from Land’s End to Dover.

Environment secretary Michael Gove has welcomed the British swimmer to Dover this afternoon after Mr Pugh completed a gruelling seven week-long swim.

Mr Pugh’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 12 July.

With the end in sight, the 48-year-old had 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”.

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His campaign, which he anticipated 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 six to 12 miles a 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 that said just seven square kilometres of 750,000 of UK coastal waters were fully protected.

He earlier said: “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.

It has taken him 49 days to complete the swim, coming in 24 hours under his 50-day target.

Mr Pugh was forced to have five rest days over the journey, with some of the layoffs forced on him by storms.