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Lewis Gordon Pugh, real and very 1st person to swim at North Pole? Astonishing! Earth has fever?

By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 08 January 2009

Lewis Gordon Pugh, nicknamed The Polar Bear, is the only person to have completed a long distance swim in each of the five oceans of the world


Who is Lewis Gordon Pugh?

I am passionate about swimming and I enjoy pushing boundaries. But there's a lot more to it than that. Through my swims I have had a unique perspective on climate change. I have witnessed retreating glaciers, decreasing sea ice, coral bleaching, severe droughts, and the migration of animals to colder climates. It's as a result of these experiences that I am determined to do my bit to raise awareness about the fragility of our environment and to encourage everyone to take action.

But I've not always been in swimming trunks. I studied law at the University of Cape Town and the University of Cambridge, and then went on to work as a maritime lawyer in London. I now spend much of my time public speaking and lobbying world leaders to protect the environment.

Lewis Gordon Pugh

Letter from Lewis Gordon Pugh

Dear Friends

Forget about future generations. This is about us.

For many years, I've been known as a swimmer and an environmentalist. I've used my skills in the water to draw attention to disturbing changes in our oceans. Last year I undertook the first swim at the North Pole to raise awareness about the melting of the Arctic sea ice. It is happening quicker than anyone predicted.

I don't observe the Arctic from satellite images, or from the comfort of a boat. I get into the deadly cold water and ice. And from what I've experienced it is no longer simply about saving polar bears or eco-systems for future generations. It is about saving ourselves. With the current pace of sea ice melting, climate change threatens world peace, economic stability and our way of life ­ across the globe. I don't think this. I know this.

Lewis Gordon Pugh jumping off into freezing water

So, what to do?

Well, I've changed gears and gotten myself into a kayak. But bear with me. I'm neither an "adventurer" nor a tree hugger. I am a new breed of hands-on, act-now activist.

As a maritime lawyer, I have decided to combine my legal skills with a deep commitment to get my message through to decision makers and the media to achieve change within our lifetime. Because I'm not sure there will be another.

Next step - The Polar Defense Project

In September I will kayak from the Island of Spitsbergen (in Northern Europe) across the Arctic Ocean into the Arctic ice pack. This will be the most challenging expedition of my life. It has never been attempted before. The Arctic Ocean is a frightening place. Especially in a single kayak!

I d-d-d-did it: Pugh emerges after his polar swim

I am calling for greater legal protection for the area. No one country can claim the North Pole. All nations must join together to halt climate change. All 6.6 billion of us. When I get as far north as possible I'll plant 192 flags of every country in the world, and thereby launch the Polar Defense Project. Our aim is to defend the Arctic legally and tackle climate change head on.

Explore this site for further details, and follow our blog during the upcoming expedition. Make comments, talk to friends, spread the word. Get involved.

Take care. Together we will make a difference.

Lewis Gordon Pugh

Brilliant: Lewis Gordon Pugh

From Pugh's website: "[He] has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history." These swims include the most northern and southern long distance swims, being the first person to swim around the Cape of Good Hope, and the longest polar swim.

British explorer and endurance swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh is attempting the challenge of a lifetime - to become the first ever person to swim at the Geographic North Pole in freezing temperatures of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius - the coldest waters a human has ever swum in

Lewis Gordon Pugh to Swim at North Pole to Raise Awareness of Global Warming

"I never do the same swim twice, unless it is for training. The next swim must be harder and more challenging, otherwise I am going backwards," Pugh says. "Sometimes we set boundaries for ourselves in life, or even worse, we allow others to do so. In many cases, these boundaries are just in our mind and need to be pushed away."

At the end of the piece, Goldberg quoted Dave Wienbaum, who wrote, "The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings."

Lewis Gordon Pugh (a British adventurer) decided to swim one kilometer in the coldest waters to Geographic North Pole.

As a matter of fact, his nick name is polar bear. Pugh can keep his core temperature low like a polar bear. This is because of “anticipatory thermogenises”. As he explains:
“Before I even enter the water, I am able to elevate my core body temperature by as much as 1.4°C (35F). This phenomenon, now known as “anticipatory thermogenises”, has to our knowledge not been noted in any other human being.”

Lewis Pugh stood up to the freezing temperatures

The 37 year old to swim in freezing waters where temper- atures average about -1.8C.
He will be using his regular Speedo swimming trunks, cap and goggles.

Briton astounds the world by becoming the first person to swim to North Pole

Only a few seconds in the icy depths would be enough to kill most mere mortals.

But yesterday, protected by nothing more than a pair of Speedo trunks and his extraordinary central heating, Lewis Pugh took the plunge and became the first man to swim at the North Pole.

The 36-year-old Londoner spent almost 19 minutes at minus 1.8C as he front crawled for a full kilometre - more than half a mile in the coldest water a human has ever swum.
"It was like jumping into a dark black hole," he said. "The pain was immediate and felt like my body was on fire.

"I was in excruciating pain from beginning to end and I nearly quit on a few occasions. It was without doubt the hardest swim of my life."
But he said that a colleague ski-ing on pack ice alongside him looking out for hungry polar bears spurred him on.

Lewis dives into the icy water

"I just kept on looking at Jorgen Amundsen ski-ing next to me, encouraging me. I will never ever give up in front of a Norwegian! Let alone a relative of Roald Amundsen (who beat Britain's Captain Scott to the South Pole.) There is just too much rivalry between our two nations for that."

Pugh, who gave up his career as a maritime lawyer to become a full-time endurance swimmer, carried out his latest expedition to highlight how global warming has melted the Arctic ice-caps.

He traveled to the geographic North Pole on a Russian icebreaker with a 29- strong back-up team including a mind coach.

To develop his cold sea swimming technique he practiced in a pool filled every day with a ton and a half of ice.

He has broken more than 20 endurance swimming records which include the first swim of more than 1km in the Antarctic Ocean.

British explorer and endurance swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh in the waters of the North Pole Sunday July 15, 2007. Pugh took to the freezing waters in just his Speedo swimming briefs, cap and goggles to highlight the devastating impact of climate change on the natural world. It took him 18 minutes and 50 seconds to swim 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) in waters created by melted sea ice at temperatures of minus 1.8C (29F)

He has swum the whole of the Thames, been first to swim the length of the world's longest fjord and first to swim round the most northerly point of Europe.

He is also the first man to swim at the South Pole - where the waters are a comparatively warm zero Celsius.

Although the North Pole temperature is below zero, the salt is enough to prevent the water freezing at that temperature.

Pugh carries out his swims to Channel Swimming Club rules - which outlaw wetsuits, flippers or snorkels.

He chooses not to cover himself in goose grease as he does not want to be too slippery for his team to fish him out of the water in case he develops hypothermia.

Lewis Gordon Pugh

• Lewis Pugh's incredible ability to withstand the icy cold has been developed over years of training.

Before he dives in, he spends around 15 minutes using mind power alone to superheat his body.

His pulse rate shoots up from 70 to 160 a minute and his temperature rises from 37C to 38.4, causing him to sweat profusely.

This is all without moving a muscle - and something which would take an ordinary person around 30 minutes of hard exercise to achieve.

He also plays aggressive rap music - Eminem is a particular favourite.

Describing the feeling of swimming in water more suited to seals, whales and polar bears, he said: "Before I get in, my body feels like a furnace. I become very aggressive, and my surroundings seem to slow down. Then I hurl myself in.

"At first, you experience massive hyperventilation. Controlling this is extremely difficult."

Lewis Gordon Pugh swimming

Briton astounds the world by becoming the first person to swim to North Pole

On leaving the water yesterday, his core body temperature had fallen to 36.5 degrees and it dropped further to 35 degrees 20 minutes later but a warm shower enabled him to return to normal.

comment -

The only arrogant people are those who show their envy of a modern day achievest who just happens to be fulfilling a desire to be the greatest at a particular feat.
This man instills hope and inspiration in almost anyone who reads the article.
We are tired of the war and the terrorism and need stories like this that are uplifting and feel good stories.
He is a victor and no one was killed in the process.
The message of Global Warming may have reached a few more people but that is not the whole benefit of this mans feat.
If more people set out to achieve personal victories we would have a nicer and certainly more interesting world to live in.
Thanks for inspiring me.
Ken Nerger

Lewis Gordon Pugh swims to raise awareness for climate change

Encyclo- pedia > Lewis Gordon Pugh

Lewis Gordon Pugh (born 5 December 1969) is a swimmer, polar explorer and motivational speaker. He was the first person to complete a long distance swim in both the Arctic and the Antarctic and the first person to complete a long distance swim in all 5 oceans of the world (Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Arctic and Southern). Over a period of 2 decades he has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history.


Photos courtesy of,,, AP Photo, China Daily, Jason Roberts, and Push Pictures / PA Wire

Original Source: Lewis Gordon Pugh - Official Site, Class V, Associated Content, People’s Daily, Mail Online, NationMaster - Encyclopedia, The Telegraph, and DayLife

Related Article: Human polar bear Lewis Gordon Pugh swims to North Pole: Creates public awareness on Climate change

Solar panels has so many advantages and not just the advantages but also the green minded homeowners who want to have a cheap">solar panels Melbourne or in Australia and have a source of power and sustainable energy at your homes.

This is one awesome blog.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

Nice pic! I don't know if I can swim in that water! your very brave.

I know for sure I wouldn't be able to swim in those waters either! Like the pic a lot though.

Andrew,">Clear Skin Max

I know I wouldn't be capable of doing it! Very brave indeed.

Jeez. I would freeze in there Also, I cannot swim so, what would I do once I was inside? Scream like a lady?

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