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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 July 2007, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Swimmer rises to Arctic challenge
Lewis Gordon Pugh takes the plunge

An endurance swimmer has completed a 1km swim at the North Pole to highlight the effects of climate change.

Lewis Gordon Pugh, 37, swam for 18 minutes and 50 seconds in temperatures of -1.8C (28.7F), the coldest waters a human has swum in.

The City lawyer said the swim was a triumph but it was "a tragedy that it's possible to swim at the North Pole".

"I hope my swim will inspire world leaders to take climate change seriously," he said.

'Excruciating pain'

The challenge was conducted in accordance with Channel Swimming Association Rules.

He took the plunge at 0200 BST on Sunday and swam along a crack in the ice to the geographic North Pole.

Describing the moment he jumped in, he said: "The water was absolutely black. It was like jumping into a dark black hole. It was frightening.

"The pain was immediate and felt like my body was on fire. I was in excruciating pain from beginning to end and I nearly quit on a few occasions."

Pugh said he hoped it would influence the decisions made by world leaders over the next few years to determine the biodiversity of our world.

Thames campaigner completes swim
06 Aug 06 |  England
Swimmer stops off at Downing St
03 Aug 06 |  London

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