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Old 26-09-2009, 13:07   #31
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I been on the water most of my life and am a really poor swimmer. I am now haveing trouble with my shoulders so serious swimming is out. I CAN however tread water for ever and swim quite happily on my back for long distances using a frog like kick and a sort of reverse breast stroke. Little splashing or thrashing about. I can side stroke but find it much more tiring than on my back. The only trouble with the back swimming of course is seeing where you're going.

I used to spend all summer days swimming when I was a kid and doing the mile across the lake was one of the things we did to prove our "manliness". To even attempt that now would be my end.

With my wet suit I can snorkle all day to the point of being sore the next day but without it I sink like a stone if I don't get on my back.

I now always wear a PFD of some sort.The type depends on the conditions but mostly a bassfishermans vest. Lots of pockets and comfortable to wear for long periods. Type one if it gets crappy.....m
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Old 26-09-2009, 14:44   #32
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Another former LGI/Swim Coach weighing in:

Efficient for what? Certainly the crawl, is the most efficient stroke for speed. It's not the most efficient to maintain with little effort over time. If I had stay afloat and cover some ground for a period of time, I'd choose the elementary backstroke. You don't have to hold your head up, do any lifting to breathe or lift arms or legs out of the water. Simply let our legs drop a bit and you are in the survival float position to take a break. The only problem I see in the long run is sunburn to your face. Certainly the side stroke is another fairly easy stroke to maintain that would allow you to orient your face away form the sun. Dog paddle is not very efficient, at least not for humans. Even my dog gets tired doing it in short order.


"Freestyle" means you are free to do any stroke, except in some leagues or associations it means any stroke except the other competitive strokes of fly, breast and backstroke.
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Old 26-09-2009, 16:14   #33
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if side stroke is such a weak stroke, then why is it the navy SEALS use it more than any other stroke in their long distance swims????? think about it....is a safe and smooth stroke--just isnt macho ..LOL---so, then , why DO the navy SEALS use it???? is an excellent resting and long distance stroke. try it sometime.....i get to watch as i live on my boat right there where they do their base to base swims LOL.
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Old 26-09-2009, 16:16   #34
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Good point Nautical. The best stroke depends. It depends on how properly a swimmer does a stroke. It depends on the swimmers physical condition. It depends on how long the swimmer must swim and it also depends on the water conditions....four variables that I can think of.

It seems that those variables must be answered first before one could come up with a good answer. Like the best answer to most things, it depends on a number of factors.

I'm pretty sure the SEAL's use swim fins for doing what they do.
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Old 26-09-2009, 17:39   #35
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I used to do steady survival swimming in pool and sea. No stopping, just getting comfortable on my back, getting the water pressure of my stomach for easy breathing, and making a bit of headway, then turning to breast stroke and making what headway I could for a while not choking, swallowing much etc.
Given that you can maintain body temperature like that you'll be good for six hours. Once it's dark - hope, but don't ever give up.
by the way, I've started using a clip-on line when in the inflatable dinghy. If there's much of a breeze and I fall out it's going to be moving a damn sight faster than I can swim.
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Old 26-09-2009, 19:24   #36
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Agree that elementary backstroke is another great option. I endorsed sidestroke (and went on about it at such length) because it is a style most folks are familiar with & could employ w/out learning something new, and has some advantage as far as vision & course-keeping are concerned.

If I knew I were to be in the water for an extended period, I'd alternate between the two. The EB offers some real conservation of energy, but my knee wouldn't be able to do a thousand of those whip kicks…



If it's the recreational version of the breaststroke we're talking about, and I assume we are, it's not particularly efficient, as the head is partially/completely out if the water at all times (as it is typically practiced), and the resultant dropping of the hips and high drag body position appears again. The majority of the propulsion of the BS is in the kick, and if the body is not relatively prone, the kick, as well as the glide, cannot be used to full advantage.

Many omit the glide from the recreational version of this stroke b/c they don't want to submerge the face; but in fact, this important phase takes advantage of the forward momentum of the kick: the glide should find the body prone on the water, face submerged to the hairline or deeper, legs straight/toes pointed, and arms straight and forward.

If done vigorously, esp. without the glide phase, it's tiring over a long distance; if done in a more relaxed manner, it's just better than dogpaddling, as far as making headway, and those with creaking knees may need a stretcher if the beach is more than a mile away, b/c it's hell on the ligaments.
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Old 18-05-2011, 06:16   #37
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Re: Swimming

Then please, take note of the basic precaution against unexpected currents or winds and deploy a long floating line Every Single Time you go swimming off an anchored boat or a becalmed boat. There are too many unexplained deserted Ghost boats found. Likely cause is recovering man-over-boards where current or wind has separated the boat form the crew.
It doesn't need to be a strong rope, decent nylon chord will do, especially with intermittent floats for grabbing hold of. Any squall could put you in sudden danger, take care.
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Old 18-05-2011, 07:27   #38
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Re: Swimming

Swimming in a pool or other calm waters is VERY different than in ocean waves and currents that are sweeping you away from the safety of shore. Got caught in a rip current once on Block Island and was less than 10 feet from solid footing but could only hold my own with maximum effort. Do you think you could remain calm and let youself be swept out into even larger breaking waves as you watch the land recede? I hope so but I could not and do not believe I would have made it ,except that a friend who was watching helplessly 20 feet away yelled for me to try to body surf a wave that was approaching from behind and that suggestion saved my life.
BTW I was on the college swim team ,but now: swim fins and avoidance of turbulent water.
Yes, the friend saved my life,but he claims he has been sorry ever since!
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Old 18-05-2011, 07:54   #39
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Re: Swimming

As a kid I was lucky enough to go to a H.S. with a pool. The side stroke was always taught as the "resting" stroke, one that could be maintained for a long time. It involves a scissor kick and extending one hand forward as one strokes back. This has always been my go-to stroke when getting tired doing the crawl. Alternating these two can get you there without becoming exhausted. I'm not a great swimmer, not really a "floater," but have confidence in this method.
Seems obvious but: Remember, when jumping/falling off the boat, you need to be able to get back on. Just installed an emergency telescoping ladder on the transom with a reachable snap shackle (as on a tether) that can be pulled to lower it should I forget to get the swim ladder before jumping in or fall in getting in dink, etc.
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Old 18-05-2011, 07:54   #40
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Re: Swimming

As a former lifeguard, we were taught never to fight a rip tide. Instead, catch as much breath as you could, let it carry you out, and when it disaptes, you can assess your situation. Most fatalities occur with people fighting the current, which appears to be the natural thing, but most current caused by a rip are too strong.
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Old 18-05-2011, 07:57   #41
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pirate Re: Swimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
As a former lifeguard, we were taught never to fight a rip tide. Instead, catch as much breath as you could, let it carry you out, and when it disaptes, you can assess your situation. Most fatalities occur with people fighting the current, which appears to be the natural thing, but most current caused by a rip are too strong.
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Old 18-05-2011, 08:26   #42
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Re: Swimming

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
As a former lifeguard, we were taught never to fight a rip tide. Instead, catch as much breath as you could, let it carry you out, and when it disaptes, you can assess your situation. Most fatalities occur with people fighting the current, which appears to be the natural thing, but most current caused by a rip are too strong.
I would prefer not to be carried that far out. Better if your not a good swimmer, ... become one. And swim within your abilities at an angle until you clear the current.

When I was younger, (and in better shape), I was swimming of the coast of India, ...and got caught in a rip current. I swam back to shore until I was out of breath, and looked up to see it receding in the distance, no lifeguards, and no one on shore capable of rescueing me. A long and determined crawl, (the only way I could swim faster than the current), got me back in, everytime I stopped for a break I lost ground, so I swam at the best speed I could maintain at an angle and finally made it exhausted and several miles from where I went in.

If I wasn't working on speed, my best long range swim is a combo breast stroke back stroke. I use one until I am tired and flipp over to rest, keep ing a slow scisser kick with long steady arm strokes until I catch my breath. I can keep this one literally all day.
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Old 18-05-2011, 08:40   #43
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Re: Swimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
As a former lifeguard, we were taught never to fight a rip tide. Instead, catch as much breath as you could, let it carry you out, and when it disaptes, you can assess your situation. Most fatalities occur with people fighting the current, which appears to be the natural thing, but most current caused by a rip are too strong.
During open-water scuba training, divers are taught that the optimal way to deal with a rip current is to swim parallel to the beach in the direction of the prevailing longshore current. Once the rip has been exited, they can then make a normal beach egress.

(I should add that I'm a retired scuba instructor, no longer qualified to teach such things.)
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Old 18-05-2011, 08:44   #44
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Re: Swimming

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I would prefer not to be carried that far out. Better if your not a good swimmer, ... become one. And swim within your abilities at an angle until you clear the current.
I can only repeat... don't fight the current. I agree that once it dissipates, your strategy of swimming at an angle is the best one if no one can assist.

Wikipedia's entry on how to deal with a rip tide actually discusses exactly this technique, and also the necessity not to fight the current. Go to the bottom of the article to the headline reading, "Escaping a rip current".
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Old 18-05-2011, 08:57   #45
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Re: Swimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
I can only repeat... don't fight the current. I agree that once it dissipates, your strategy of swimming at an angle is the best one if no one can assist.

Wikipedia's entry on how to deal with a rip tide actually discusses exactly this technique, and also the necessity not to fight the current. Go to the bottom of the article to the headline reading, "Escaping a rip current".
I don't know -- I think it depends on the exact situation.

The one and only (ever, I hope) time I fell overboard, I was at anchor in the big bay at Saint Vaast, Normandy. It was last year. I was standing on my up-ended swim platform fixing the dinghy when the platform shifted (one of the hydraulic rams was damaged) and I fell into the water. The tide was running strong (very large tides there) through the bay and out to sea, and by the time my head came back above water, the boat was receding fast.

The one other person on board was below and so no one saw or heard me fall off. I understood instantly that if I just let the current take me out, I would probably die. So I swam like hell -- I swam for my life. I could barely swim faster than the current, probably 0.01 knots faster, by using maximum lungs-busting effort. It took me about half an hour, but by swimming furiously, I just managed to grab onto my transom just before I ran out of strength. Some time later my crew lowered the transom platform and pulled me on board.

If I had followed the advice above, I am pretty sure I would be dead.
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