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Lewis Pugh plans first unassisted swim of 315-mile Hudson River

Lewis Pugh
Lucas Willard
Lewis Pugh

World-renowned endurance athlete Lewis Pugh was the first person to long-distance swim in every ocean of the world. He was the first to swim across the North Pole and the first to swim the length of the English Channel. He now seeks to be the first person to swim the entire length of the Hudson River – more than 300 miles – unassisted. No wet suit, no fins.

Pugh is an environmental advocate and in 2013 was appointed the first United Nations Patron of the Oceans. His swim down the Hudson, beginning Sunday at Lake Tear of the Clouds, will conclude in 30 days, coinciding with the opening of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in September.

WAMC’s Lucas Willard met with Pugh on the riverbank in Albany, and asked why he chose to swim the Hudson.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.