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Old 21-04-2014, 06:26   #16
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Re: SWIMMING

Always astonishes me to hear people say they never "learned" to swim. That's like saying you never learned to float. The only thing holding you back is your own mind. I could swim for as long as I could stay awake. Hours, certainly. And so can you, if the water conditions permit. Swimming a mile in tropical water sure shouldn't make anyone nervous.

But don't mind me. Because I also happen to think that anyone who does a lot of boating in water deeper than their head who can't swim is somewhat of an idiot about managing risk, and probably deserves their spot in the food chain.
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Old 21-04-2014, 06:34   #17
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Re: SWIMMING

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Thing that astonished me a few years ago was talking to the inhabitants of San Saba island in the Bahamas a few years ago, the majority of them couldn't swim. You live on a small island in the Bahamas, and you can't swim?
Unless one is a sponge or a pearl diver, swimming is an activity associated with leisure.

Some people don't have a lot of leisure.
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Old 21-04-2014, 06:54   #18
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Re: SWIMMING

I agree with previous comments RE swimming to save oneself after a bluewater sinking, out of sight of land: Your odds of making it to land are not good just because of the time and exertion involved which will lead to exhaustion, dehydration and hypothermia. A few miles out? Sure, the ability to swim can save your bacon. Much more than that and you'd better have some survival gear. I've been a strong swimmer since I was 5. All of my kids learned to swim before they were 2. Can't imagine going to a beach with water temp greater than 70į F and not going in.

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Old 21-04-2014, 06:55   #19
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Re: SWIMMING

the reason I have a boat is because I can't swim far. had to swim in the Navy but that was 50 years ago. I see no connection between boating and swimming. I personally do not know anyone who can swim across an ocean.
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:05   #20
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Re: SWIMMING

swimming and floating are definitely two different things people have floatedloaded in the water for days without a life vest and even longer with life vests. now whether you can swim or not I don't know that has much bearing on it unless you can see land and then the question bears if you can't swim do you have your life vest on if the answer is no would you had a child on board that couldn't swim would you not put one on them. but I do imagine most people on this site anyways probably could float for a long time.

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Old 21-04-2014, 07:05   #21
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Re: SWIMMING

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Unless one is a sponge or a pearl diver, swimming is an activity associated with leisure.

Some people don't have a lot of leisure.
I don't know, quite a few feed themselves by swimming at least occasionally.
There is a lot of leisure time in San Saba by the locals, ever been?
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:09   #22
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Re: SWIMMING

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I singlehand my sailboat and am a strong swimmer. Despite that, I know that if I fall overboard while sailing I am dead. Even if just a mile or more offshore in warm Caribbean waters and with land in sight, fall overboard and you won't make it to land.

Things look very different when starting from a beach, when you swim out and turn around to return you are already halfway through the swim.
My 0700 work-out for 15 years was a 1000 yds in the pool in 25 to 30 minutes (slow). Was on the swim team in high school. So why wouldn't I make it a mile to land in the Caribbean? Is it a shark thing? Currents?

Falling overboard in Lake Superior the above would be true for all but 3 or 4 weeks of the year.

It is hard to describe how brutally cold the lake is most of the year. I dive it all summer and even in a dry suit with 400 gm thinsulate insulation the cold starts to bite hard in 30 to 45 minutes.

Life jackets are worn in Lake Superior to facilitate efficient recovery of the bodies.
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:17   #23
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Re: SWIMMING

swimming as a survival tool in boating is important, and has nothing to do with making it to land. For instance, you fall overboard and someone throws you a life ring, but it's 20' away. If you can swim, no big deal, if you can't?
Fall of the boat at the dock, if you can swim, it's embarrassing, if you can't then it's a survival situation.
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:39   #24
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Re: SWIMMING

Its a little bit cultural, when I lived in Canada I knew few people who could swim, and less who enjoyed it. Back here (AUS) I know few who cant swim and most enjoy it, particularly a good surf beach. Flat water and pool swimming bores me shirtless after while, but a good pumping surf beach is a lot of fun.

I actually can't remember not swimming. Not something I remember learning.

Comments above are correct, no one is swimming to shore to save themselves, but swimming to a flotation aid etc, really really helpful.
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:49   #25
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Re: SWIMMING

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swimming as a survival tool in boating is important, and has nothing to do with making it to land. For instance, you fall overboard and someone throws you a life ring, but it's 20' away. If you can swim, no big deal, if you can't?
Fall of the boat at the dock, if you can swim, it's embarrassing, if you can't then it's a survival situation.
Bingo. Of course it isn't about swimming to shore. It's about having the ability to orient yourself in the water, reboard a dingy, get to the Lifesling, get a rope off the prop before you drift into rocks, help someone else, and to simply moving confidently in the water.

I'm a huge believer in harness and tether, but I see swimming as a job skill for sailors, right up there with map reading and knots. Simply something a well-rounded sailor knows. Dennis Connor? A truely exceptional match racer and manager, but well-rounded might not be a good description. An exception that proves nothing.
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:51   #26
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Re: SWIMMING

Couple Swims 14 Hours to Shore:

US tourists swim for 14 hours after boat sinks
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:47   #27
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Re: SWIMMING

I also think it is a saltwater thing. There is a huge portion of the population that won't do any serious swimming in sea water because of the taste of the water. Even one mouthful will have many people gagging and wanting to vomit. I was like that for a long time until I took a week long kitesurfing course in Dominican Republic. The first day they forced us to "body drag' through the shore break. It was only about 3-4' waves, but when you've turned your body into a rudder and the kite is pulling you through the waves, it is inevitable that you are going to swallow large amounts of water.

The first day was both fun and miserable. Fun because of the kite flying, miserable because of all the puking and gagging. But the morning of the second day I just quit fighting it and got used to the taste of the water. Ocean swimming has been much better since then. I actually enjoy snorkling now, where I hated it before because of the salt water.

Now I'll swim in the Carribean no problem, and with the boyancy of the salt water, I could survive several miles of survival swimming in water like that. The sharks would have to get me long before I would ever drown. No thanks anywhere along the US west coast though. That water is too cold. And the lake water we have around here, anything over a mile is out of the question. Much less boyancy in the fresh water and combined with the cold temps, there is just no chance. Unless we are talking about the Great Salt Lake. In that case even the non-swimmers won't drown.
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:54   #28
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Re: SWIMMING

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Its a little bit cultural, when I lived in Canada I knew few people who could swim, and less who enjoyed it. Back here (AUS) I know few who cant swim and most enjoy it, particularly a good surf beach. Flat water and pool swimming bores me shirtless after while, but a good pumping surf beach is a lot of fun.

I actually can't remember not swimming. Not something I remember learning.

Comments above are correct, no one is swimming to shore to save themselves, but swimming to a flotation aid etc, really really helpful.
Maybe a bit more to do with water temperature than culture?
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Old 21-04-2014, 10:13   #29
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Re: SWIMMING

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I don't know, quite a few feed themselves by swimming at least occasionally.
There is a lot of leisure time in San Saba by the locals, ever been?
No, but my impression of the leisure time of the locals in the Caribbean has been formed by the reports of sailors visiting, some of whom have commented that, for whatever reason or reasons, swimming isn't very popular. Swimming in the sense of "spearing one's lunch" isn't the sort of swimming I'm talking about, as that's for gain, like pearls or sponges.
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Old 21-04-2014, 10:32   #30
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pirate Re: SWIMMING

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No, but my impression of the leisure time of the locals in the Caribbean has been formed by the reports of sailors visiting, some of whom have commented that, for whatever reason or reasons, swimming isn't very popular. Swimming in the sense of "spearing one's lunch" isn't the sort of swimming I'm talking about, as that's for gain, like pearls or sponges.
Its a question of hydrodynamics and buoyancy... the shapes all wrong..
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