Playing sports in one hundred percent natural environments is, without a doubt, something very rewarding for nature and adrenaline lovers. However, prudence is a quality that cannot be lacking in these cases. Here are some safety measures for open water swimming.
As well as the different competitive modalities in swimming pools, swimming in open water is really a passion for many people in lifeguard class. At first glance, we can see that it is a very demanding sports alternative.
The inclement weather, which includes the wind, the temperature of the environment and the water, the waves, and even the sun, has a direct influence on the performance of the athlete and can greatly complicate their performance in the water.
Open water swimming basics
Swimming in a river or in a sea is far from swimming in a pool, where conditions are controlled. For example, in the sea, the density of the water is greater, so it is easier to float and the swimmer can dedicate his resources to propel himself in the water with lifeguard class.
Some technical issues also vary. For example, the strokes are longer and it is usually breathed when putting the head towards both sides so as not to lose reference of the direction towards which it is advanced. However, there are situations where the waves force you to breathe in only one direction.
Similarly, the current and the swell are other factors that must always be taken into account. And this should be done not only by thinking about using them in favor of the swimmer but also for safety reasons in open water swimming that we will describe below.
Safety recommendations for swimming in open water
First of all, we never have to go swimming in a lake, river or sea without company. Unlike swimming pools, where we always have the assistance of a lifeguard, there may be no one in these places who can or is trained to help us in an emergency. Starting from this basic question, other keys that we must keep in mind are:
Carry a safety buoy
It is an element specifically designed for open water swimmers. They float, are brightly colored, and even allow you to store items inside. All of this is of great importance for a swimmer in an unforeseen situation.
Increase the demand progressively
You should not rush to do as many meters or kilometers from your first outing. Instead, start with controllable distances to build your fitness level safely.
In addition, having a specialized instructor could be very helpful to improve your technique and adapt your sessions to your goals and possibilities. The more efficient the movements you perform, the less you will tire yourself out. This translates to better performance and less chance of cramping or injury.
Make sure you stay away from the boats
In many waterways, it is common for motorized boats to circulate. This is something that you should take fully into account before launching into open water swimming.
There are some cities that have implemented exclusive lanes for swimmers, which represents a very important safety measure to avoid accidents. Get advice on this and, if one does not exist, try to make yourself visible using a buoy, a brightly colored suit, and, preferably, with a person who accompanies you in a boat or kayak near you.
Learn first aid measures
To prevent drowning, it is essential to know first aid techniques to apply them in case of emergencies. In this sense, resuscitation maneuvers such as CPR techniques can save lives in critical situations.
However, we never know what circumstance may appear – such as a cramp, muscle ailment, or even more serious failures in other functions of the body – and thus cause an emergency situation.
In short, there is no doubt that swimming accompanied or even in a group is in itself an excellent measure. However, when it comes to open water swimming safety, all the precautions we can take are adequate.
Requirements to organize
Clearly, safety is a priority for the organizers when planning an open water competition with the lifeguard class. Therefore, they reserve the right to postpone. Reduce or suspend an edition if inclement weather does not favor the normal performance of an event.
Exposed to phenomena such as tornadoes and typhoons, especially in the summer.
Including boats that accompany swimmers, prior medical checks. And special authorizations for underage athletes or with any degree of disability.
One thing is for sure: the atmosphere is very festive and there are spectacular days of sand, sea and lots of fun!