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Lewis Gordon Pugh sets out on expedition

28th August 2008

British explorer and environmentalist Lewis Gordon Pugh is attempting to become the first person ever to kayak all the way to the North Pole in a bid to highlight climate change.
 
Lewis Gordon Pugh has already swum a kilometre at the North Pole. He is hoping his gruelling trip will show how drastically the Arctic sea ice is melting.

"One side of me hopes I will get there because it will really illustrate the point," said Lewis.

"But the other side hopes I don't get there because that will mean the situation is really serious."

"Last year was the lowest extent of sea ice on record and this year... the thickness of the ice is a lot thinner. It's a very worrying situation."

To make his point, Lewis is going to have to brave incredibly tough conditions.

He will have a small support team including Richard Branson's son Sam, but will have to paddle for three hours and rest for six non-stop until he gets as close to the North Pole as possible.

"In terms of predators, there are obviously polar bears, but walruses are actually more dangerous. They have massive long tusks and can headbutt you out of your kayak very easily."

"From a practical point of view, it is the sheer distance and the winds. It is getting blown out of your boat at strong winds which is an issue."

This is not the first time Lewis has undertaken an extreme expedition to raise environmental awareness.

Last year he became the first human to swim a kilometre at the North Pole, drawing attention to the melting ice caps.

"The swim…and the kayak are different because the swim was short sharp and incredibly arduous, swimming in minus 1.7 degrees in just my Speedos."

"This time I'll be spending days on end in a single kayak. I'll have my support team but I'll be out there in a kayak on my own.

"I think it's harder on the mind, and believe me - it is freezing in a kayak

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