Escorting Benoît Lecomte Across The Pacific Ocean

The Longest Swim will certainly live up to its name.

Whether it is a stage swim, done in a wetsuit or fins, or done in stages, The Longest Swim is an incredible feat of logistics, endurance, planning and commitment by Ben Lecomte and team.

His team consists of Captain Kale Garcia and his wife Angela who own the 167-foot trawler Aquila that will serve as the mother ship for The Longest Swim.

Aquila was used in the Deadliest Catch, a top show on the Discovery Channel, and recently completed the route that Lecomte will swim from Tokyo to San Francisco.

Aquila is capable of withstanding heavy seas and can support up to 26 people for months on end. It is specifically configured to support Lecomte and his unique needs as a solo swim across the Pacific Ocean. The stern of the boat is modified to allow rapid deployment and docking of the smaller vessels that will be alongside Lecomte as he swims.

Aquila will also serve as the primary broadcast platform for the event and the expedition’s based on operations. It will be used as a floating gas station and will store the fuel for the small tender that will guide Lecomte day by day. Most of the crew will spend most of their time aboard the boat.

The broadcast platform includes a gyro-stabilized sea-to-satellite transmission and reception equipment, boat-to-boat transmission and reception systems, video control consoles, switchers, communication packages, monitors, cameras and sound gear with all the tools, back-up and maintenance equipment to keep content flowing 24/7 for 6 months.

For 5,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean, Lecomte will wear a custom mask that incorporates video screens and audio and voice capabilities as well as wireless audio and video transmission systems. This is not your standard $30 goggles; this custom mask is a 6-figure specially-designed, one-of-a-kind device that will enable compelling entertainment.

A smaller team will be on a sturdy and maneuverable tender that will be close to Lecomte at all times. A 26-foot dual-engine skiff with marine life-detecting radar and safety equipment onboard will also be used. It is a rugged inflatable designed for use in heavy seas and will be used to transfer crew and goods between the tender and mother ship. The stiff is useful to provide a filming platform when necessary. A Sea Doo PWC (Personal Watercraft) will be used for filming and for safety in emergencies. The Sea Doo will be used by the shark safety staff when the need arises.

Lecomte will give a presentation via Skype at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference. From somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean, Lecomte will address the audience in Long Beach, California. For more information on the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, see here.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association