A Frenchman has set out to break a world record, swimming from Japan to San Francisco.
Ben Lecomte, 51, set off on the journey Tuesday from Choshi, Japan, in his attempt to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean, a trip that could take six to eight months.
Lecomte, is expected to swim eight hours daily on the ocean and an average of 30 miles, a journey that spans about 5,000 miles.
"For the moment, we know he left and everything went well," spokesman Alexandre Borreil said.
Lecomte reportedly spent more than six years preparing for the trip. He also completed a similar swim across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998.
His training included hours of open water swimming, and "visualization" exercises to prepare mentally. He could face sharks, cold temperatures and storms during the swim, CBS reported.
He's hoping the feat will raise awareness about the health of the world's oceans and the threat of pollution.
Lecomte, the associate director of sustainability services at a consulting firm, is also hoping to use the trip to gather information on climate change, health and pollution.
Scientific teams accompanying Lecomte, including NASA, will collect more than 1,000 water samples and study plastic pollution, mammal migration and the effect of extreme endurance events on the human body.