French swimmer departs from Japan and begins Pacific Ocean crossing attempt

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On Tuesday, Ben Lecomte, 50, and his nine-person support team set out from Tokyo on the epic expedition with a final destination of San Francisco.

Under sunny skies, the 51-year-old Frenchman slipped into cool and placid waters shortly after 09:00am (0000 GMT), in warm and pleasant conditions with a slight breeze.

Out at sea were the 20-metre yacht and inflatable boat, which will accompany him across the ocean.

Lecomte told Reuters news agency that he plans to swim for eight hours and burn off more than 8,000 calories every day.

"More than six years of preparations have lead to this moment".

With his journey only just beginning, he knows the dangers he faces which include sharks, storms, swarms of jellyfish, and extremely low water temperatures.

"It is mind over matter", said Lecomte. He will then return to the water in the same spot the following day.

White House reportedly considering new economic penalties against Canada
The U.S. imports $417 billion in goods from the European Union , $294 billion from Mexico and $278 billion from Canada. The Mexican tariffs target USA pork, produce, bourbon, and steel - products chosen with a political objective in mind.

Researchers believe that 92 per cent of the garbage consists of larger pieces of trash, while eight per cent contained microplastics. Scientists are increasingly concerned about its effect on marine ecosystems and entry into the food chain.

The journey will also take him through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area where plastic and debris have accumulated that is three times the size of France.

The scientific publisher Seeker provides much of the swimmer's backing and will be providing daily updates on his progress.

The team, working with 12 scientific institutions, including NASA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will conduct oceanic and medical research throughout the journey.

"I remember my father and he was the one who taught me how to swim in the Atlantic". I remember times when we would go to the beach and walk and never see any plastic. "Now, everywhere I go, on the beach I see plastic everywhere", said Lecomte.

French swimmer Benoit Lecomte to swim across the Atlantic ocean, made a decision to conquer the largest terrestrial reservoir to draw public attention to a "junk spot" of the ocean.

"The mental part is much more important than the physical", he told AFP. "It's a problem we created and there is a very easy solution to start reversing it-single-use plastics for example, if we stop using them that will make a big change".

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