This weekend, a 34-year-old London man apparently overcome with Olympic excitement attempted to swim 3,600 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Biarritz, France to New York City. He didn’t make it.
Around 300 yards into his journey, the unnamed tourist was rescued when coastguards lowered a diver in the water from a helicopter to convince him that it probably wasn’t wise to continue. Only donning trunks, the man didn’t have any equipment vital for such a journey, like flippers, food, or a motorboat. Still, he insisted he’d be able to do it.
According to the Daily Mail, the man was in the French shore town with friends and told them when they were swimming that he was off to “carry the Olympic spirit across the Atlantic.” They thought he was joking, and let him go.
Radio France International, however, relays a slightly different story, saying that the man was naïve, and his friends convinced him that if he got far enough, a boat would pick him up.
“Our diver explained that swimming to America was not a good idea,” a French police officer, Laurent Saintespes, told Radio France International. “He replied that he was a good swimmer and was in good condition.” The completed trek initially would’ve taken him around the northern coast of Spain before and then through thousands of miles of open water.