Ben Lecomte’s amazing journey has come to an end. While he did not complete the full world-record setting swim across the Pacific Ocean, he did raise awareness about the problem of plastics in our ocean. Ben made it to Hawaii after six months in the ocean. He and his team were met with a variety of challenges, including multiple problems with equipment. Due to equipment failures, the team thought it best to put the remaining area to swim on hold until after the holidays.
Ben swam to Hawaii’s shore on December 12, after putting on his swim gear for the last time. He made landfall on Queens Beach, with his dear friend’s name written in his fins: “Gino.” Unfortunately, on day 178, December 6th, Gino passed away. By writing his friend’s name in his equipment, Ben was able to carry his friend with him as he swam onto shore. Ben wrote:
Today is one of my saddest days ever. Gino, one of my closest friends died. I met him through this project 7 years ago when he asked me if he could meet me on a beach in Alabama to take some footage of my training. Like many others, Gino volunteered his time and expertise, he created the first video we used to promote the project. During all those years he has been a real asset and bringing so much support that this project became his too. 6 months ago, Gino was in Japan with the rest of the crew and we were lucky to have him spend the first few days at sea with us.
In that short amount of time, the entire crew became a big fan of his, his love for others and enthusiasm was contagious.
In spring 2019, Ben plans to start his next expedition from Hawaii to California.
As Ben and his crew approached Hawaii, the U.S. Coast Guard flew to them and circled the boat. Ben wrote:
To see land after more than 110 days at sea was for me surprisingly not a big deal, I wasn’t excited, it was just there as it was supposed to be.
Ben felt disappointed with the way The Swim ended. He wrote:
This experience is not real, this is not my reality, this is not what I had visualized, my dream and goal were different, I feel as if I have been put into somebody else’s body. During the past few months, I had created in my mind the perfect end for The Swim; we arrived in San Francisco, my children were swimming with me for the last 100 meters…
But I have to realize that it is now my reality. Not everything turned the way I wanted but we all made it safely back on land and we kept on focusing on our overall mission; collecting data and samples to contribute to the collective knowledge about plastic pollution, raising awareness about the ocean health and inspiring people to make some changes in their life to reduce their plastic use.
Despite his own disappointment, we are so very proud of him at Equanimity Magazine. He is a great inspiration, and we learned so much about the impact that plastics have had on our oceans and ocean life.
We have no doubt that Ben will be back, inspiring others and bringing more awareness to the plastic problem, and we wish to leave this post with these words from his logbook:
Nothing has stopped for me and my purpose, it is just the beginning.
It has been an amazing experience and it could not have been possible without the help and support of so many people, our investors, sponsors, partners, experts, supporters, followers, on land team and my crew.
My deepest thanks to all of you!