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Essential Tips To Stay Safe When Open Water Swimming

Swimming in open water may sound romantic, but it throws up certain problems that you are going to have to deal with. Open water swimming is great fun and has many benefits for triathletes as long as you avoid the dangers that come with it. Here is a quick list of safety measures you should follow to ensure you are reaping the benefits and avoiding the dangers:

Check The Water Quality

Always go online and check the water quality and temperatures before undertaking any open water swimming sessions. Most cities have websites that will provide you with all the information you need in one place and they will update these websites frequently. These sites update swimmers on the conditions of most popular swimming locations, any changes due to weather such as large rainfall which can alter water levels, water quality, PH and E. coli levels and current strengths and directions.

Always check the water for visible hazards when you arrive. If there’s no lifeguard on duty, this responsibility falls down to the swimmers. Hazards such as boats and debris as well as unusual substances on the surface of the water can all pose a threat.


Open water swimming is always much safer if you follow a buddy system. Even strong swimmers should head out with a partner or a group as weather, water traffic and water currents can change rapidly. Accidents are best avoided if there are plenty of eyes looking out for each other, and for potential hazards.

Your buddy doesn’t even have to be swimming, they can stay on shore or in a kayak to provide a lookout for you and help keep you safe.

The Right Equipment

Wetsuits will help keep you buoyant and warm in cold water which is necessary for long swims. Make sure you have a wetsuit with colourful accents to help you be clearly visible in the water. Brightly coloured swim caps - like the ones they dole out at race events - are also important in keeping you safe.



23rd August 2018, 13:16
Page updated 23rd Aug 2018, 13:17
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