Lewis Pugh swimming past an iceberg ()Lewis Pugh swimming past an iceberg () © Copyright

Chill! I got this

Lewis Pugh is changing the world, one freezing cold stroke at a time.

My tongue started to freeze – every time I turned my head to breathe, I was gulping in sea water. I started to think I might not survive the swim.”

When things get this bad, most of us would probably call it a day. I’ve given it my best, chaps, but you know, my TONGUE IS FROZEN! 

Lewis Pugh swimming past an iceberg ()


Lewis Pugh, though, isn’t most of us, and the conservation trailblazer took to the seas again in December 2016 to help raise awareness for his latest campaign. He survived the swim, by the way.

Pugh is the only person to complete a long distance swim in every ocean of the world, raising awareness for global warming and general ocean protection issues in the process. In 2016, he helped create the biggest protected area in the world in the Ross Sea, just off Antarctica. And he’s not finishing there.

The next plan, his Antarctica 2020 campaign, is to create three more Marine Protection Areas, and he is planning several cold water swims to raise awareness over the next few years. His December 2016 effort, in the Antarctic’s Bellinghausen Sea, launched the campaign, and saw him take to sub-zero waters for over 17 minutes. And all this just six months after he went under the knife for a spinal nerve issue. 

Lewis Pugh swimming past an iceberg ()


Pugh’s achievements over the years speak for themselves, and saw the United Nations give him the title ‘Patron Of The Ocean’ in 2013. Basically, he’s like Aquaman, but instead of fighting bad guys, he’s protecting nature.

Photos: Lead: Kelvin Trautman // First in body copy: Getty Images