日期:2013-07-23 05:04




Open water swimming: how to stay safe


Taking the plunge in open water can be dangerous but there are ways to minimise the risks, Kate Rew, the founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society, tells us.
Rew was speaking as news emerged that at least 17 Britons had lost their lives as a result of swimming in quarries and other open water spots during the current heatwave.
And it followed a spate of warnings about the dangers of open water swimming issued by police and the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS).
Rew urged all those wishing to take the plunge in outdoor swim spots to follow clear safety guidelines and make sure they were informed about the places they wanted to swim in.
But she said that with water temperatures much warmer than usual, this was a wonderful time to explore Britain's many lakes, rivers and the sea."Like many sports such as hiking and snowboarding, open water swimming carries risks, but there are many ways in which these can be minimised," Rew said.
"With swimming there are tides and currents and water temperatures that have to be considered and you have to learn about your ability to function with those things."
"Like many other sports, open water swimming can be done on different levels. There are safe ways of doing it that entail no more danger than swimming in an outdoor swimming pool."



Rew had the following advice for would-be open water swimmers:
* Don’t swim when drunk
* Don’t jump in without knowing depth of water
* Make sure you know about currents
* Find out about the swimming place before you get in – both by speaking with people who live locally and checking the Outdoor Swimming Society map
* Before going into the water, make sure you know where you are going to get out
* Swim close to the shore
* Swim with someone else
* Start off swimming modest distances and then build up
Rew said that a lot of difficulties associated with open water swimming came about because water temperatures in lakes, rivers and the sea tended to be considerably lower than in heated swimming pools.
"Plenty of people don't appreciate that when the water is cold the blood rushes to the core and at a certain point your arms and legs become useless and you can't swim out of danger. That can cause deaths."
"Even when the water is relatively warm, such as now, it can still be colder than that in heated swimming pools and people who are not used to it can still find it slightly shocking."
Open water – or wild swimming as it is also known - has surged in popularity as more and more Britons want to reconnect with nature and swim in beautiful settings free from the constraints of indoor chlorine-filled swimming pools.



Not only is it invigorating and inspiring, done with due caution, it is good for you – as the Prime Minister David Cameron demonstrated last month when ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland he let it be known that he had taken a 6am dip in Loch Erne.


Membership of the Outdoor Swimming Society has grown considerably since it was founded by Rew in 2006. Included on its website is a comprehensive interactive map highlighting the many outdoor places in Britain where it is possible to swim with practical information contributed by those who have tested them out.
"Of course there are risks, but life is a risk-filled activity," said Rew."You can't keep people out of the water when it is hot and with water temperatures in many places currently at between 16 and 20 degrees, this is an ideal time to explore outdoor swimming."If you do want to explore, start off by finding an inland beach on a lake or a river pool where water runs to shallow, find somewhere safe and family-friendly.
"Have a look at our wild swimming map and see where people recommend. Give it a go: even if you find it a bit bracing, you might enjoy it."

  • popularityn. 普及,流行,名望,受欢迎
  • primeadj. 最初的,首要的,最好的,典型的 n. 青春,壮
  • appreciatevt. 欣赏,感激,赏识 vt. 领会,充分意识 vi.
  • invigoratingvt. 振兴(invigorate的ing形式) adj
  • certainadj. 确定的,必然的,特定的 pron. 某几个,某
  • inlandadj. 内陆的,国内的 adv. 内陆地 n. 内陆
  • recommendvt. 建议,推荐,劝告 vt. 使成为可取,使受欢迎
  • inspiringadj. 令人振奋的,激励人的,鼓舞人心的
  • spaten. 泛滥,洪水,突然的一阵
  • modestadj. 谦虚的,适度的,端庄的