Inspired by the Olympics, a 34-year-old Brit on holiday in the southern French city of Biarritz reportedly decided to go for a swim all the way across the Atlantic, but was forced to turn around less than a quarter-mile offshore.

The unnamed man allegedly told his friends he wanted to swim to New York — 3,600 miles from Biarritz — to bring the Olympic spirit to America. His pals allowed him to pursue his endeavor, believing the declaration to be a joke.

But it quickly became apparent that the man was very serious: He jumped in the water and swam until he was out of sight. It was only then that lifeguards rushed out to rescue the wayward swimmer.

After some back-and-forth over his ability to actually made it to his destination, the man agrees to return to land.

"He was a bit naive," Laurent Saintespes of the Biarritz airbase told AFP. "But at a time when the Olympics are taking place in London you have to see the funny side of things."

[photo via Shutterstock]