French-American man abandons attempt to swim Pacific

In this undated photo provided on Nov. 26, 2018, by Seeker, Ben Lecomte swims in the Pacific Ocean. (Seeker via AP)

TOKYO — A French-American man has given up his attempt to swim across the Pacific Ocean after a storm broke the mainsail of his support ship.

Organizers said Monday that long-distance swimmer Ben Lecomte had abandoned the attempt. He had completed about 1,500 nautical miles (2,780 kilometers) of the 5,000-mile (9,260-kilometer) journey.

The announcement was made by online science publisher Seeker, which partnered with Lecomte and has been documenting his attempt.

Lecomte said the damage to the sail was "an insurmountable blow" and called the premature end to the swim "a deep disappointment."

He had set out on June 5 from Japan's Pacific coast and was swimming an average of eight hours a day. Violent storms had already forced him to interrupt the swim once and return to Japan in late July.

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