Lewis Pugh OIG is an endurance swimmer and an ocean advocate. For over 30 years he has pioneered swims in the most vulnerable ecosystems on earth to campaign for their protection. He was the first to swim across the North Pole and in 2018 to swim the full length of the English Channel. In 2013, the United Nations appointed him UN Patron of the Oceans. In 2015, Lewis helped create the largest protected area in the world in the Ross Sea off Antartica. He grew up in the UK, Malta and South Africa. 

In 2019, Lewis delivered the keynote address at the Commonwealth Service. He spoke to the world on the importance of protecting the environment and described how he has witnessed the oceans change over the decades. 

An ardent and vocal supporter of protecting our oceans Lewis said in his address to the Commonwealth: 

The young people with us here today did not cause this crisis. And yet it will completely shape their lives. It's our responsibility to ensure that their voices are heard, and acted upon. 

Read the full transcript of Lewis's speech or watch his interview with us on Commonwealth Day:

Find out more about the Lewis Pugh Foundation