Brit becomes first to swim under the summit of Mt. Everest

May 24th, 2010 - 3:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 24 (ANI): British swimmer, Lewis Gordon Pugh, has become the first person to swim under the summit of Mt. Everest.

He swam a distance of 1 km to cross a glacial lake next to the Khumbu Glacier.

Wearing only a pair of Speedos, a cap and goggles, the environmental campaigner fought the freezing conditions to achieve the feat in a time of 22 minutes and 51seconds.

He came close to drowning during test swims for the event amid bouts of altitude sickness on the Pumori Lake, which sits 17,000 feet above sea level.

Pugh, who is also called the ‘Human Polar Bear,’ said he had to change his approach to swim in the 2C Pumori waters.

“You can’t use the same tactics. Because of the altitude you need to swim very slowly and deliberately,” Fox News quoted him, as saying.

He adopted breast-stroke to help his breathing and concentrated all his energies on controlling his speed.

He added: “Swimming 20 meters at full speed in the test swim, I felt I was going to drown.”

He was worried that if he swam too fast, he would suffer from hyperventilation, and if he swam too slow, he would die of hypothermia.

Pugh hopes his effort will raise awareness of the melting glaciers in the Himalayas and the impact of declining water supplies in the region, Sky News reported.

He said: “I have seen glaciers in the Arctic, the Alps, Central Africa, Antarctica and the Himalayas — and it’s the same story everywhere.

“Most glaciers are melting away. The glaciers in the Himalayas are not just ice. They are a lifeline — they provide water to approximately two billion people.” (ANI)

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