Belfast Telegraph

Ben Fogle to tackle Atlantic swim

Ben Fogle admitted he feels "scared" as he prepares for his most punishing challenge yet - swimming across the Atlantic Ocean.

The presenter said he will battle feelings of "solitude and loneliness" when he spends up to 12 hours a day in the water, swimming the equivalent of the Channel, to make it in his target of 100 days.

He will also face the risks of icebergs and sharks during his 3,000-mile journey from the US to Cornwall next year.

Ben was joined by wife Marina and their children for the launch of his challenge at the Serpentine lake in London's Hyde Park.

The 38-year-old said: "It's something I've always dreamed of doing but I never knew if it was possible or not. It's a massive challenge, easily the biggest thing I've ever done. I'm not a particularly competent or confident swimmer but I love the ocean and I love a big challenge. It genuinely is into the realm of the unknown.

"It does scare me because I really don't know what is going to happen. Only one person has done this but that is what attracted me towards this."

He went on: "Solitude and loneliness will be the biggest obstacles. Psychologically it will be very hard. Then of course there is the physical damage on the shoulders and the arms, salt burn, icebergs, sharks - all of those things are factors as well."

The star's previous escapades have included rowing across the Atlantic with friend and Olympic star James Cracknell, as well as racing to the South Pole.

Ben's journey will aid homeless charity Centrepoint, help research for the University of Southampton and work with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Plastic Oceans Foundation to use the trip to highlight the fragile state of the seas.

Further details will be at the website www.theatlanticswim.com.

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