Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh set to complete Channel swim

Handout photo dated 04/08/18 issued by Lewis Pugh Foundation of endurance swimmer and United NationÕs Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh collecting plastic pollution near Bill of Portland during The Long Swim campaign. Mr Pugh is due to complete his swim of Credit: Press Association Images

Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh is set to complete his 330-mile swim along the length of the English Channel as he urged the Government to better protect UK waters.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove will welcome the British swimmer to Dover, Kent, on Wednesday after a gruelling seven week-long swim.

Mr Pugh’s “The Long Swim” will come to an end at Shakespeare Beach after he set off from Land’s End in Cornwall in swimming trunks, cap and goggles on July 12.

With the end in sight, Mr Pugh on Tuesday encouraged his supporters to join him at the finish line as he tweeted: “Swam last night. Swimming today. Dover tomorrow!! Please join me at Shakespeare Beach at 1:30pm for the end. #TheLongSwim”.

His campaign, which he anticipated would be his “toughest” swim yet, aims to highlight plastic waste entering the seas.

Mr Pugh, who has been swimming the world’s oceans for three decades, has been covering 10km to 20km (six to 12 miles) per day.

The environmental campaigner and UN Patron of the Oceans also took part in beach cleans along his journey, organised by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage.

Before setting off, he warned of a “shocking” figure which said just seven square kilometres of 750,000 of UK coastal waters were fully protected.

He earlier told the Press Association: “My message is going to be very, very simple: our oceans are in crisis.

“Unless we take real, serious action now, it’s very difficult for me to see how they can recover.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

“It’s not something you can keep putting off and putting off and putting off. We’ve done that for too long.”

His swim has been observed and verified by the Channel Swimming Association.