TORONTO -- A British swimmer who says he wants to wake up politicians around the world to the threat of climate change has successfully completed a kilometre-long swim in the freezing water of the North Pole.
Lewis Gordon Pugh swam Sunday for 18 minutes and 50 seconds in temperatures of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius in just Speedo briefs, cap and goggles.
"I am obviously ecstatic to have succeeded but this swim is a triumph and a tragedy,'' the 37-year-old British lawyer said after coming out of the water.
"A triumph that I could swim in such ferocious conditions but a tragedy that it's possible to swim at the North Pole.''
Pugh said he hoped that his swim will make world leaders take climate change seriously.
"The decisions which they make over the next few years will determine the biodiversity of our world,'' he said.