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Old 10-08-2015, 09:51   #1
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Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Howdy!

The topic here is "Dangerous Swim: Places I Would NOT Swim."

Feel free to add anything to this thread that fits the topic.

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Background: I enjoy swimming, and enjoy doing it in the sea too. This thread is not started to scare people. It is merely a topic to discuss places and conditions where swimming is considered dangerous, even if by just you.

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I will start with an example:

Today I learned about an incredible feat of swimming courage and determination. The story is best told by the video shown below.

What makes this a Dangerous Swim?
1. Cold Water
2. Shark Infested Waters (the Farallon Islands are known as a feeding ground for Great White Sharks)
3. Strong Currents.
4. 30 miles to reach the destination (Farallon Islands to Golden Gate Bridge)

I really have to say I admire the courage and will power of the woman who made this swim (or any other people who have done it). I have sailed that same route and seen how rough the waters can be around the islands and coming back into the Golden Gate approach. And I have watched enough "Shark Week" videos to know that the Great White Shark loves the Farallons and looks around those islands for a meal of a seal or sea lion.

So, when I saw this video of this swimmer, who had to leave the Farallons at 11:00 PM (Night!) and start her 17 hour swim (to go the 30 miles), I am in AWE of the courage and guts it must take to do that. Note: she did NOT swim wearing a wet suit and she did NOT swim in a shark cage. Watch the video and see the type of water she had to swim in (waves). WHEW! That is one dangerous place to go for a swim. But, her accomplishment is also very impressive too! And, I want to be clear that I admire people who have the courage to do things like this that others would not dare do. They show us what humans CAN do and achieve.

Would I do it? No way!

Woman swims from Farallon Islands to Golden Gate Bridge for the first time ever - CBS News
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:07   #2
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

This guy from 2007;




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Old 10-08-2015, 17:29   #3
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Aside from the sharks, stonefishes, blue-ring octopi, irukanjis, box jellies, crocs, and portuguese men-o-war, I quite like swimming in the sea. Where I draw the line is Bondi Cigars. Oh, and nuclear waste; though glowing would be a useful thing for reading in bed, growing extra appendages and organs would spoil what has been a good run. Come to think of it, I read recently about where a lot of chemical weapons ended up after WW1 and WW2, and I'm not keen on that stuff either.
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Old 10-08-2015, 20:34   #4
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

A riptide! Or better stated, "against one".

Been swimming (both fresh and salt water) since I was 4 years old, waterskiing since 6, and sailing since 7. Never once did I ever feel scared in the water. Complete confidence. Can swim an Olympic pool underwater with one breath.

THEN!!!, oh happy days! I was caught in my first riptide swimming off Ohau in Hawaii. I panicked, and quickly went into head-down overhand mode as I struggled to reach the closest rocky outcrop about 20-meters toward the beach from where I was. I remember taking in seawater, gasping for air, looking towards shore and wondering if a lifeguard would be able to see me if I raised a hand for help, and truly thinking "Sh*t!, I'm going to f*%king drown!"

That thought put me into hyper-drive, and I kicked harder (still against the riptide, like an idiot!), made it to the outcrop, and gasped and gasped for a breath. Once out of the riptide and recovered, I gently swam to shore. Scared the living crap out of me, and taught me a BIG lesson! Never swim against a riptide. Swim laterally across until out.

To my defense, it was my first riptide!
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Old 10-08-2015, 20:44   #5
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post

I will start with an example:

Today I learned about an incredible feat of swimming courage and determination. The story is best told by the video shown below.

2. Shark Infested Waters (the Farallon Islands are known as a feeding ground for Great White Sharks)
By the way, I saw that news story this morning here in Japan on CNN. My first thought? "NO F'N WAY AM I GOING TO SWIM IN WELL-KNOWN GREAT-WHITE INFESTED WATERS, LET ALONE AT NIGHT AND FOR 30 HOURS!!"

My next thought? "That woman is surely suicidal!"

(NOTE: She had a support team beside her for the whole swim, so maybe that made everyone more relaxed, including the swimmer.)
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Old 10-08-2015, 20:47   #6
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

I would not swiim inside a marina. I suppose there might be one somewhere that isnt completely filthy but even those might have stray electricity running around.
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Old 10-08-2015, 21:40   #7
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Some places in the Kimberly area keeps me out of the water
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Old 10-08-2015, 22:42   #8
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Quote:
Originally Posted by PortClydeMe View Post
A riptide! Or better stated, "against one".

Been swimming (both fresh and salt water) since I was 4 years old, waterskiing since 6, and sailing since 7. Never once did I ever feel scared in the water. Complete confidence. Can swim an Olympic pool underwater with one breath.

THEN!!!, oh happy days! I was caught in my first riptide swimming off Ohau in Hawaii. I panicked, and quickly went into head-down overhand mode as I struggled to reach the closest rocky outcrop about 20-meters toward the beach from where I was. I remember taking in seawater, gasping for air, looking towards shore and wondering if a lifeguard would be able to see me if I raised a hand for help, and truly thinking "Sh*t!, I'm going to f*%king drown!"

That thought put me into hyper-drive, and I kicked harder (still against the riptide, like an idiot!), made it to the outcrop, and gasped and gasped for a breath. Once out of the riptide and recovered, I gently swam to shore. Scared the living crap out of me, and taught me a BIG lesson! Never swim against a riptide. Swim laterally across until out.

To my defense, it was my first riptide!

Same thing happened to me while bodysurfing in Pismo Beach. Always in the water, swam like a fish then, "Holy crap", the beach is getting further away and the pier is coming up fast. I couldn't really parallel the beach because the current was taking me into the pilings. I just made the beach before I went under the pier, crawled out of the surf on my hands and knees and collapsed. Scared the crap out of me.
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:40   #9
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

For Sharks:
Mogadishu
Several places off of S.Africa - AKA Great White Breeding & Feeding Grounds
Those listed by the OP
Devil's Island - Read Papillion
Near Oceanic Docks where fish are regularly fileted - Commercial & Sport Fishing Locales

Saltwater Croc Territory is Definitely off limits

Currents:
Pretty much the higher (or lower) the lattitude the worse they are
And anyplace with currents strong enough to produce standing waves when the tide turns are OUT
Spots where you can get caught "On the Inside"
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Old 11-08-2015, 14:11   #10
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

I was just reading about a fuel barge accident in "Surge Narrows" British Columbia. Looks like a bad place to swim. 16 knot currents on the flood and 14 on the ebb or maybe it was the other way around.

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Old 11-08-2015, 14:24   #11
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
I would not swiim inside a marina. I suppose there might be one somewhere that isnt completely filthy but even those might have stray electricity running around.
To clarify, electricity is a fresh water hazard, but not a seawater hazard.

To over simplify, in freshwater, you are the most conductive path and make an excellent short cut. In seawater, you are the least conductive path. Even more to the point, hot wires placed in seawater with generally blow a fuse, the conductivity is so great. Extension cord ends melt in minutes. Additionally, the field tends to be much more compact. Fooling around with extension cords after a rain is FAR more dangerous.

Unless someone corrects me, I believe there are no documented cases of swimmer electrocution in a recreational marina.

---

Not to say there are not other hazards, boat traffic being one of the more obvious.
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Old 11-08-2015, 14:59   #12
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Water temp below 28C which excludes most places outside the tropics

Diving it's another matter with a cosy drysuit
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Old 11-08-2015, 15:14   #13
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
To clarify, electricity is a fresh water hazard, but not a seawater hazard.

To over simplify, in freshwater, you are the most conductive path and make an excellent short cut. In seawater, you are the least conductive path. Even more to the point, hot wires placed in seawater with generally blow a fuse, the conductivity is so great. Extension cord ends melt in minutes. Additionally, the field tends to be much more compact. Fooling around with extension cords after a rain is FAR more dangerous.

Unless someone corrects me, I believe there are no documented cases of swimmer electrocution in a recreational marina.

---

Not to say there are not other hazards, boat traffic being one of the more obvious.
Thanks for posting that info. I did not know that.

I wonder about another scenario and would like your more informed/knowledgeable opinion on it. This a sincere request for some advice.

The Scenario
Imagine you are in a boat that has begun taking on water due to a significant leak of some kind. You have on board some AC powered pump (your emergency pump of some kind). You are standing in the salon up to your knees in saltwater and urgently need to dewater the boat.

You think you can start your engine, but are not sure. You have seconds or minutes left.

You have an inverter that gives AC power from the batteries.

Question #1
Are the batteries shorted because of the water over the sole (knee deep already)?

My assumption is that as soon as the batteries and their cables are covered in salt water they are no longer a viable source of electricity for any use by any boat accessories. Is that right?

Question #2
If you use your Inverter, and plug a long extension cord into the electric pump, will you get zapped (electrocuted) by the 120v from the inverter? Would this be safe to do?

Question #3
If you have a genset that gives out AC power, and you attach the long power cord to it so you can get power to the portable AC pump, will you get zapped if you step into the knee deep water?
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Old 11-08-2015, 15:17   #14
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Quote:
Originally Posted by PortClydeMe View Post
By the way, I saw that news story this morning here in Japan on CNN. My first thought? "NO F'N WAY AM I GOING TO SWIM IN WELL-KNOWN GREAT-WHITE INFESTED WATERS, LET ALONE AT NIGHT AND FOR 30 HOURS!!"

My next thought? "That woman is surely suicidal!"

(NOTE: She had a support team beside her for the whole swim, so maybe that made everyone more relaxed, including the swimmer.)


I'm with you. NO way would I attempt that swim!

By the way, shortly before she did her swim, a man attempted the same swim. He was pulled out of the water (ending his attempt) by his support team on his follow boat when they spotted a 15 foot Great White.
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Old 11-08-2015, 15:29   #15
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Re: Dangerous Swim : Places I Would NOT Swim

Quote:
Originally Posted by PortClydeMe View Post
A riptide! Or better stated, "against one".

Been swimming (both fresh and salt water) since I was 4 years old, waterskiing since 6, and sailing since 7. Never once did I ever feel scared in the water. Complete confidence. Can swim an Olympic pool underwater with one breath.

THEN!!!, oh happy days! I was caught in my first riptide swimming off Ohau in Hawaii. I panicked, and quickly went into head-down overhand mode as I struggled to reach the closest rocky outcrop about 20-meters toward the beach from where I was. I remember taking in seawater, gasping for air, looking towards shore and wondering if a lifeguard would be able to see me if I raised a hand for help, and truly thinking "Sh*t!, I'm going to f*%king drown!"

That thought put me into hyper-drive, and I kicked harder (still against the riptide, like an idiot!), made it to the outcrop, and gasped and gasped for a breath. Once out of the riptide and recovered, I gently swam to shore. Scared the living crap out of me, and taught me a BIG lesson! Never swim against a riptide. Swim laterally across until out.

To my defense, it was my first riptide!
Rip Tides can be deadly.

When I was younger (30s), the husband of a friend was on the Florida Gulf Coast (near Pensacola). He was in waist deep water with his children. The beaches there slope gently out and the sand is white. It seems benign in most cases. One of the toys the kids had went out in some waves. The father swam out to retrieve it. His drowning loss was attributed to a rip tide (current) that was running there. His family on the beach watched him attempt to swim back, but he could not make it, he kept trying, struggled, exhausted himself and then went down. He was a fit man in his 30s.

I have felt them several times as they are common on the stretch of beach I usually went to in Florida.

Once when I foolishly got into some storm surge surf and breaking waves off a beach in South Carolina with a friend. We were out on a bar as the waves came crashing in. As I struggled to stand chest deep against the OUTGOING current, I realized we were in jeopardy as we still had to swim back into the shore. The waves were "huge" for that area and we were foolish. I knew about rip currents, and did a quick decision to move laterally while I could. I barely made it back into the beach (about 150 feet down the beach from where I was before). It scared me then, and made an indelible memory of how the power of water flowing is much stronger than even a strong swimmer. Swore to myself: NEVER again!
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