VIDEO: 'Difficult to breathe'

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Lewis Gordon Pugh is an impressive guy. A maritime lawyer and ocean advocate known as the “Sir Edmund Hillary of swimming” in that tight-knit community, Pugh recently became the first human to complete a long-distance swim at the geographic North Pole in nothing more than a Speedo, cap and goggles.

Yes, it was done to raise awareness about climate change, but imagine swimming past chunks of ice in water just above freezing.

Pugh says swimming in water that cold is an incredibly challenging physical test.

“When you dive into freezing-cold water, it’s very difficult to breathe. You gasp for air. The water will be around [25 degrees F]. That’s … colder than the water in which the passengers of the RMS Titanic perished. If you have not trained in those conditions, you’ll swallow water and drown,” he explains on his website.