Human Polar Bear- Lewis Pugh visits SA

Lewis Pugh starting his swim across the North Pole
Image via Wikipedia


He  has swum 1 Km at the North Pole in -1.7 degree water. He swam in a lake on Mount Everest which should never have existed and does due to global warming.

Lewis Pugh has swum across Lake Malawi, swum the English Channel and completed a 100 Km swim from the V&A Waterfront around Cape Point to Muizenburg in Cape Town.

In his book “Achieving the Impossible”; Pugh describes how he is able to raise his core body temperature by 2 degrees just before entering freezing water.

Lewis is an open water swim pioneer having swum in all the oceans of the world, including a 15 Km swim across Nelson Mandela Bay. He was also the first person to swim around the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulas.

Through completing swims in remote and hostile environments, a growing sense of belief that mankind has to change our ways to survive grew in Lewis.

‎View incredible footage of the North Pole swim:


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“On May 22nd, 2010 I undertook a 1 km swim across a glacial lake on Mt Everest. My purpose was to draw attention to the melting of the Himalayan glaciers and the consequences this will have on peace and stability in the region”, said Pugh.

“The combination of the two degree fresh water, which is less buoyant than salt water and the altitude of 5,300m made this one of the most difficult swims I have done.

En route I undertook a test swim in Lake Imja. The lake was first seen in 1958. Today it is almost 2 Km long due to the melting Imja Glacier”.

“These glaciers are not just ice. They are a lifeline. They provide a constant water supply to some 2 billion people – nearly a third of the world’s population” added Pugh.


“The peoples of India, China, Pakistan and eight other nations depend on the melt water from the Himalayan and Hindu Kush glaciers. But they are melting due to climate change. And without a regular supply of water, there is a real risk of instability in the region”.

With practical lessons taken from his own life, Lewis explains in “Achieving the Impossible” how recognizing one’s passions and taking calculated risks is essential for anyone looking to fulfill their goals and purpose in life.

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