Lewis Gordon Pugh
will be taking the dip in the North Pole. Question: Is a 1 km swim still classed as a dip? On July 15, when the polar waters will be a nice warm minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, Pugh will plunge.
The 37-year-old Cape Town adventurer already holds the record for the coldest human swim in 0 degrees Celsius in Antarctica, and last year Pugh broke the world record for the longest ice water swim when he spent nearly 24 minutes swimming a fjord in the Norwegian mountains covering a distance of 1.2 km.
During the North Pole swim, expected to take around 21 minutes, Pugh will be dressed in just normal swimming trunks, goggles and a cap.
Pugh said that "Most people have no idea that you can find patches of open sea at the North Pole in summer." He also added that as little as 10 years ago this swim would have been impossible but due to climate change it is now possible. Pugh hopes to use his swim to put pressure on the world leaders meeting next month at the G8 summit to do more to reduce carbon emissions.
Pugh got his nickname of "Ice Bear" due to his unnatural ability to withstand extremely cold temperatures, which should come in handy as he spends a month at a Norwegian glacial lake training for his latest challenge.
He will be supported by Jorgen Amundsen, a relative of Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole in 1911, so he should be in good hands as Pugh will have to ski the final 10km to the North Pole before taking his swim, Amundsen added that "It's becoming increasingly difficult to walk to the North Pole and many expeditions fail each year when they encounter big stretches of open sea,"
Pugh, a lawyer and "ambassador" for the environmental group WWF, has been training with a specially designed ice pool and eating 6 meals a day to increase his weight from 87kg to 105kg to help fight off the effects of the cold water and to try and prevent him from hyperventilating.