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Lewis Pugh becomes the first person to swim the Seven Seas

Lewis Pugh has swam in seven seas for his UN Ocean challenge Credit: ITV News

Lewis completed his final swim from Southend-on-Sea up to the Thames Barrier.

He broke the swim into two lengths – Southend to Gravesend on the 28th August and Gravesend to the Thames Barrier on the 29th August.

It took him 8 hours and 12 minutes.

He swam the last leg from Southend to the Thames Barrier Credit: ITV News

I've just completed the first long-distance swim in the Seven Seas of the ancient world. I've experienced some things I will never forget. And seen some things I wish I could erase from my memory, but which will haunt me for the rest of my days. I will never forget the people I met along this journey, the literally hundreds of people from all walks of life who helped us and supported us and jumped in the sea to swim with us, just to be part of this mission, just for their love of the sea.

– Lewis Pugh, Endurance Swimmer
He swam the Thames Estuary in 8 hours and 12 minutes. Credit: ITV News

The renowned endurance swimmer is the United Nation’s Patron of the Oceans.

The UN is urging all nations to set aside at least 10% of the world’s oceans as effective and well-managed Marine Protected Areas by 2020.

Details of all his swims are as follows:

  • 9th August, he swam from Monte Carlo, Monaco for 10km in the Mediterranean Sea. It took 3 hours and 33 minutes.
  • 12th August, he set off from Zadar, Croatia along the Kornati Islands swimming 10km in the Adriatic Sea. That swim took 3 hours and 55 minutes.
  • 16th August, he swam the Aegean Sea from Athens, Greece, It took 3 hours and 12 minutes.
  • 19th August, he left Istanbul, Turkey for a 10km swim in the Black Sea. That leg took hours and 48 minutes.
  • 21st August, he travelled to Aqaba, Jordan to swim the Red Sea in 2 hours and 57 minutes.
  • 25th August, he set off from Rass Al Hadd, Oman and swam 10km in the Arabian Sea for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
  • 28th-29th August, he swam from Southend up to the Thames Barrier, part of the North Sea. The 60km swim took 8 hours and 12 minutes.

Thames barrier expected to close


Thames Barrier closes due to high river water levels

Thames Barrier 'saves London from flood chaos'

This Environment Agency picture shows the effects that the largest tidal surge in 60 years would have had on London if the Thames Barrier hadn't been closed.

The Environment Agency says larges sections of London would have flooded if it were not for the Thames Barrier. Credit: Environment Agency

Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes down the east coast of the country during storms last week.

But the 520 metre barrier saved London from the worst effects when it was shut on Thursday and Friday.

Latest flood warnings from the Environment Agency

The latest flood warning from the Environment Agency shows the nearest advice to London. The Thames Barrier is being closed tonight with the strongest tidal surge in 60 years predicted.

Gravesend, Denton and Greenhithe

High tides will flood properties in this Flood Warning Area. High spring tides, combined with a prolonged surge, mean that water levels are forecast to be very high. This poses a serious risk for both high tides on Friday.

Forecast wind speeds are northwesterly force 4 to 7. Water levels may be dangerously high before the predicted astronomical tidal peak. This is because the surge is raising water levels before the peak of the astronomical tide.

Source: Environment Agency

Environment Agency flood map Credit: Environment Agency


Flood map shows latest warnings for South East

This is the latest flood map for London and the South East from the Environment Agency, which is warning of the biggest tidal storm surge since the major floods of 1953.

Environment Agency flood map Credit: Environment Agency

Gales, strong winds, high tides & severe flood warning: Latest weather forecast here

What do the Environment Agency flood warnings mean? Find out here

Severe flood warning for worst tidal surge in 60 years

This is the latest advice from the Environment Agency, which has significantly increased warnings for London and the South East today:

The coastline from Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk to Clacton, Essex, is particularly at risk, including Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Parts of Great Yarmouth are being evacuated.

Severe flood warnings are currently in place across Kent.

Some defences could be overtopped by the combined effect of high tides, high winds and a large tidal surge.

Environment Agency flood map Credit: Environment Agency

In some areas, sea levels could be higher than those during the devastating floods of 1953. However, flood defences built since then - including the Thames and Hull Barriers - mean that many parts of the country are much better protected than in 1953.

Source: Environment Agency

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