There has been some debate lately about safety for swimmers. Specifically, there seems to be a question for some people about who is responsible for the safety of swimmers on ad hoc swims. Not official, organised swims like our RNLI swim, but day to day swims organised online, in person or however.
Very simply, the sea is not our natural environment. Every time we go into it, we – as functioning, responsible, adult individuals – need to think about what we’re doing, where we’re going and how and when we’re getting out. Every time – no matter how long or short your swim is going to be. It is each person’s OWN responsibility to make sure they are safe and comfortable at all times in the sea. Nobody else’s.
If you’re new to the sea, talk to more experienced swimmers who know about the wind, tides and risks in the area where you’re swimming. Arrange to swim with other swimmers and watch out for each other, but don’t ever go further or longer than you yourself are comfortable with. If the sea looks a bit too rough for you – even if other people are in the water – DON’T GO IN. The sea will still be there for another day.
Make your own decisions on your own safety. Don’t just rely on others.
Check the weather forecast – yourself. Don’t just rely on others.
Learn about the tides – yourself. Don’t just rely on others.
Acknowledge that you are responsible for your own safety. You and only you.
For all swimmers it’s a good idea to take the time to read these links, written by some very experienced local swimmers on winds, tides, distances etc:
Sea swimming is a fantastic way to spend time. Just do it in the full knowledge that every swim has some element of risk and we all individually need to take care to minimise that risk for ourselves as individuals. Swim Safe.