Ben Lecomte Begins The Swim, 5,000-Mile Journey Across Pacific
Pledge Drives to Benefit Ocean Education at AltaSea, Other Organizations
LOS ANGELES, Calif. AND TOKYO – June 4, 2018 – The Swim, Ben Lecomte’s audacious project to swim from Tokyo to San Francisco to raise awareness about Pacific Ocean pollution, began this morning in Japan. The project also will raise funds for ocean education for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles and other organizations through a series of pledge drives.
The Swim, as the project is now known, will be captured in a documentary due next year on the Discovery Channel, as well as through weekly video shorts and social-media posts by the online site Seeker and production company Nomadica Films.
Lecomte, an Austin-based architect who swam across the Atlantic Ocean two decades ago, will be the test subject for a variety of research projects during The Swim, for organizations such as NASA. The support crew also will conduct hundreds of samples and tests of ocean conditions throughout The Swim as part of other research projects.
As part of the project, The Swim and AltaSea are also launching a pledge campaign to raise money during the first 1,000 miles of the 5,000-mile journey.
“We’re proud to have been early and strong supporters of The Swim as Ben and his team readied themselves for this extraordinary journey,” said Jenny Krusoe, AltaSea’s executive director. “What Ben and his team are doing is so vital to raise awareness of the importance of our oceans, and the problems our oceans face. We are so grateful that Ben and his team have chosen AltaSea’s education programs as one of the projects that will benefit from The Swim.”
AltaSea hosted Lecomte’s crew and support ship, now rechristened as Seeker, for several months this past winter, as they retrofitted the 62-foot sailboat for an arduous six-month journey.
“I’m so grateful for AltaSea’s invaluable support during our preparations for The Swim,” said Lecomte. “We share deep concerns about our oceans, and know how vital healthy oceans are for our planet’s future. I hope that with The Swim and the funds and awareness that we can raise together, we can inspire and teach a new generation of people to protect our oceans for many years to come.”
The joint AltaSea-The Swim fundraiser is one of several planned pledge campaigns, all generating money for ocean-related science and education programs. Pledged donations will go to each partner organization after Lecomte completes that leg of The Swim.
All AltaSea-related pledges will help finance construction of an outdoor BlueTech Ocean Exploration classroom on the AltaSea docks. Students will learn about ocean exploration and research and get to operate underwater research drones from onshore.
“We’re so proud to have hosted Ben Lecomte’s support team as they prepared for this important and challenging initiative,” said AltaSea CEO Tim McOsker. “AltaSea and The Swim each are addressing, in different ways, the serious problems affecting our oceans. Ben’s remarkable effort is inspiring young people to think about the oceans and their own futures. And with funds we can raise with Ben’s help, we’ll build a one- of-kind outdoor waterfront classroom that will really get kids excited about science and the ocean.”
To make a pledge to The Swim and AltaSea project, go to www.altasea.org/give and select the box entitled ‘The Swim’. Find out more about Lecomte’s work here, and also track news of The Swim at seeker.com.
About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles:
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles accelerates scientific collaboration, facilitates
job creation and inspires the next generation for a more sustainable ocean. Built
on a historic pier with access to the deep ocean, AltaSea’s 35-acre campus brings
people together to expand science-‐based understanding of the ocean; incubate
and sustain ocean-‐related business; and pioneer new ocean-related education
programs. For more information, please visit www.AltaSea.org.
Seeker is the #1 most engaging science brand on social media in the U.S. [Source: Tubular]. Our stories explain the world through the lens of science. Seeker aims to satisfy curiosity, make science relatable and inspire young audiences. We encourage our viewers to question, dream and create. In December 2016, Seeker joined forces with Thrillist, The Dodo and NowThis to form Group Nine Media, one of the world’s largest digital-first media companies.
About Discovery Channel:
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information please visit www.discovery.com
About Nomadica Films:
Nomadica Films is a full-service entertainment production company run by partners Jared McGilliard, David Clawson and John Collin JR. Before starting Nomadica in 2016, the team was the creative force behind several highly rated and critical acclaimed hits on Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, among others. Nomadica specializes in projects that take place at the ends of the earth, in some of the planet’s most remote and dangerous environments. They create intensely intimate human stories with a rich, cinematic and original visual style.
Hannah Altschwager, Coordinator on Land, Media outreach
+1 (424) 210-1773 (currently on Pacific Time)
Skype: The Longest Swim
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles