|Known for||Swimming across the Atlantic|
Benoît Lecomte (born 1967) is a French-born long distance swimmer (now a naturalized citizen of the U.S.A.) who has received wide credit for being the first man to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without a kick board in 1998. He did this to raise money for cancer research as a tribute to his father. During his 3,716 mile journey in 73 days, he was accompanied by a 40 ft. sailboat that had an electromagnetic field for 25 feet to ward off sharks. He was followed by a great white shark for 5 days. He also encountered sea turtles, dolphins, and jellyfish.
The feat took him 73 days, with 8 hours spent swimming each day in sessions of about two to four hours in length. He was accompanied by a crew of three aboard the sail boat, where he could rest and eat in-between each swimming period. The swim extended from Hyannis, Massachusetts to Quiberon, Brittany, France. He stopped for 1 week in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean due to equipment failure. On September 25, 1998 he reached the shore of Quiberon.
The Pacific Swim
[dated info] Benoit Lecomte plans to swim the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California. The distance to be covered is approximately 5500 miles and he plans to start the swim from Tokyo, Japan ending up in San Francisco, CA. Part of the reason for the swim is to raise awareness about sustainability and the impact of excessive human garbage polluting the world's oceans. Lecomte says:
"Before anything else I am a father and as a father the future of my children concerns me because, as we all know, our way of life is not sustainable. I don’t want to be passive and pass on to my children the liability we are tagging on to our environment. We can all make a difference once we realize how we can be better stewards of the environment and our own ecological footprint, make appropriate daily changes and inspire others to do the same. This is the first goal of this event and is intended to get people’s attention throughout the world and to understand that the solution is in our hands and that we can take action.
The second goal is to encourage and work with the education system in all countries to include classes on sustainability and what our ecological footprints are into their own curriculum, because, as we all know, sustainability starts with education." 
Lecomte is to be accompanied by a crew and is going to be performing a "staged swim" (resuming the swim in the exact location in which he left the water) using a GPS tracking device, enabling him to accurately track the number of miles he completes thus enabling him to reach a new world record in open water swimming. Lecomte plans to average about 40 miles a day, swimming eight hours with the help of the current.
There are plans to produce a documentary film and also talks of making it to TV.
Since there is no standard definition of the feat "swimming across the Atlantic", there is uncertainty about the distance that Lecomte actually covered swimming in the water rather than riding in a boat: according to the Rocky Mountain News, Lecomte would have had to average 8 mph to have swum the entire distance, 3-4 times as fast as other long-distance swimmers. Note: Rocky Mountain News omitted to mention that open water swimmers are under the influence of currents, weather patterns... In that case The Gulf Stream pushing Lecomte toward his destination.
- BBC News
- "Grand Prairie man plans to swim across Pacific Ocean". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Swimming across the Atlantic? Do the math". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Report on Ben Lecomte[dead link] at the US French embassy website.
- Swimming Around The World. Retrieved 1 Aug 2004.