British adventure and environmentalist Lizzie Carr yesterday (18 May 2017) became the first female to solo stand up paddle board the English Channel after a gruelling day on the water.
The 24-mile journey from Dungeness to Boulonge took Lizzie seven hours to complete as she battled wind, rain and teeth-chattering temperatures, dodging traffic in the notoriously busy shipping lane as she went.
In a post on her Instagram page after completing the paddle, Lizzie said: “I DID IT. Today I became the first female in history to solo paddle board across the English Channel – and all in the name of #PlasticPatrol.
“I left Dungeness with two dolphins dancing round my board and finished in Bolougne with a sea lion staring me in the face – if that’s not the sign of a great day then I don’t know what is.”
Lizzie is no stranger to long journeys by paddle board having last year travelled the entire 400-mile length of England’s waterways – solo and unsupported – on her Red Paddle Co inflatable board, picking up plastic as she went.
Both journeys have been done with the environment at the centre of her planning as she attempts to highlight the issue of plastic pollution. Speaking about her most recent adventure, Lizzie said: “Whilst I feel very proud of the achievement, the driving force for me has always been the bigger environmental story about plastic pollution in our oceans and creating as much awareness about this as I can.”
During her paddle across the Channel, Lizzie collected water samples for micro plastic analysis and will subsequently be working closely with Plymouth University to analyse the results. The aim is to build on the links between the big pieces of plastic you see every day, and the detrimental impact that comes about as a result such as micro plastics, plus the journey that they take from inland to the ocean.
The work is part of Lizzie’s #PlasticPatrol initiative which has been developed to help combat the global plastic crisis and highlight how 80% of marine debris comes from inland sources. To find out more about #PlasticPatrol or to get involved head to www.plasticpatrol.co.uk/get-involved.