Lewis Pugh completes Greenland protest swim to highlight climate crisis

Lewis Pugh © Kelvin Trautman4
Image (c) Kelvin Trautman

UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh has completed his protest swim in Greenland ahead of the UN climate talks set to be held in Glasgow in November.

The endurance swimmer, who has spent the past 15 years calling for politicians to commit to protecting the oceans and react meaningfully to climate change, swam a total of 4.8-miles (7.8km) in the Ilulissat Icefjord in 14 sessions over 12 days, braving water temperatures ranging between 0C and 3C (32F-37.4F).

Announcing on twitter that he had completed the challenge, Pugh wrote: "I've completed the #ClimateSwim. 12 days, 7.8 gruelling kms. I am relieved, exhausted, cold. And worried. The melting we've seen on the Greenland Ice Sheet will impact all of us. We have a very small window to act. We need all hands on deck to solve the Climate Crisis."

Lewis is calling for 30% of the world's oceans to be protected by 2030, to help tackle the climate crisis and make the seas more resilient to global warming.


Ahead of his toughest swim yet, Stacey McGowan Holloway attended Lewis' 10-day training camp in Iceland, learning why this swim is so important and how he trains to withstand repeated swims in water as low as 0-degrees Celsius. Read more in the new issue of Outdoor Swimmer magazine

01 Cover September3

Issue 53 September 2021

  • The Climate Swim – Reporting from Lewis Pugh's 10-day training camp in Iceland ahead of his 'Final Stand'
  • A River Fit To Swim In? – Ella Foote explains how to identify a river clean enough for a dip
  • Carnage and Beauty – Olympic bronze medalist Cassie Patten gives some tips on feeding and nutrition
  • My Swim Story – How Verity Green became the first deaf British woman to swim the English Channel
  • History – The strange and lucrative history of marathon swimmers appearing on cigarette cards
  • 10 Year Anniversary – Founder of Outdoor Swimmer magazine Simon Griffiths on 10 years of publishing

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