Environmental Campaigner Swims Glacial Lake to Highlight the Impact of Global Warming
40 year old, Lewis Pugh of Devon, wore just a pair of swimming briefs, a swim cap and goggles to to swim the 1km in the 2 degree waters of Pumori Lake which sits at 17,000 ft on Mount Everest. The point behind the swim was to bring the world's attention to the melting glaciers and the effect it has on the region. Nicknamed the 'Human Polar Bear' for his cold water swims, Mr Pugh completed the swim near the Khumbu Glacier in 22 minutes and 51 seconds. His Campaigners said that this is the first time that a long distance swim has been completed under Everest's summit. Previously, Pugh has swum in Antarctica and across the North Pole to highlight the melting sea ice. Not only did the lawyer have to battle the freezing cold conditions but he had to battle altitude sickness here too which made the swim even tougher to complete. Pugh said that “It's one of the hardest swims I've done. When I swam across the North Pole and in Antarctica I could swim with aggression, but here on Mount Everest I couldn't use the same tactic. The altitude meant I needed to swim very slowly and deliberately.” “ Swimming the 20 metre test swim at full speed made me feel like I was going to drown. I was gasping for air and if I had swum any faster I would have just gone under.” Mr Pugh said “ I was very concerned I wouldn't make the 1km swim and I'm delighted I've finally achieved it.” He also said that he had to find a “delicate balance” between going too fast and going too slow which could cause him to suffer with hypothermia. � He urged for governments to make tackling climate change a priority and he said that he was disappointed that the issue was not featured more prominently in the UK election. Mr Pugh has seen glaciers around the world and he said many of them were “melting away”.