Lewis Pugh Swims Through Antarctic Lake In Environmental Advocacy Swim

Open water swimmer Lewis Pugh completed a brutal cold-water swim on a supra-glacial lake in Antarctica to bring attention to global climate change.

The 50-year-old Pugh regularly uses his open water swimming prowess as a means of environmental advocacy. By 2006, he became the first person ever to complete a long-distance swim in all five of the earth’s oceans. In 2007, he undertook the first long-distance swim across the North Pole to bring attention to the melting of Arctic sea ice. A few years later, Pugh swam a glacial lake on Mount Everest to highlight the melting glaciers in the Himalayas.

His latest swim targeted Antartica, at the earth’s southern pole. Pugh’s website calls Antarctica “critical to the health of our planet.” Pugh swam one kilometer this week in a supra-glacial lake, which forms when meltwater collects on the surface of an ice sheet. For Pugh, that meant swimming in a river that wound through an ice sheet. The main danger, according to Pugh’s site, is the lake suddenly draining away due to a crack in the ice sheet.

Pugh tweeted a number of stunning images from the swim, embedded below. He finished the 1K swim on Thursday, January 23 after about a week of training in Antarctica. He was joined on his voyage by former hockey player Slava Fetisov, who is now the UN Patron of the Polar Regions.

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Reminds me of the amazing swims by Lynn Cox. I hope it helps raise awareness.


Aware you or not you cannot change the orbit of the Earth and cycles it goes through. When standing in the middle of Times Square can imagine above your head the the ice shield thicker than hundred of Empire State buildings put one above another. Hundred! And if you think it was long time ago then you are mistaken. Not far away from the time of Egyptian pyramids. There is some nice theory that biblical flooding was caused by sudden discharge of huge glacier lake into ocean.


When was the Empire State building moved to Times Square?


Katinka what?

Texas A&M Swim Fan

The scriptures that I read & believe indicate that the “Great Flood” occurred due to rain (40 days & 40 nights of it if I’m remembering correctly). Don’t remember anything being written about a sudden discharge of a glacier lake into the ocean causing it. My scriptures also state that the waters prevailed upon the earth for a hundred and fifty days. They do say that the fountains of the great deep were broken up but I don’t interpret that to mean a sudden discharge of a glacier lake into the ocean. Just my take on it!!!

Mr Piano

This is incredible.


What an achievement. We have no excuse for what we’re doing to Earth – We know what we need to change, and we know how to change it, so why aren’t we? Humans are a walking example of the most intelligent (species) not always being the most wise.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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