When it comes to our holidays, not all of us will just stick to the poolside. Some of the more adventurous will don their Thomas Royall designer swimming shorts and venture out into the tides and currents of the oceans. While the fresh feeling and the adrenaline rush of an open water swim tells us everything about why people do it, we’re taking a look at the safer side of things. Here are the things about open water swimming and even just shallow sea paddling that you should consider before you take the plunge!
What should you be scared of?
This will all depend on where you are in the world when you go swimming in the sea. Some countries may have shark warnings, so it’s important that you don’t ignore these, especially if you happen to be swimming somewhere that cookie cutter sharks are common. This breed is small but that doesn’t mean that they can’t take a good bite! While the chances of you bumping into a shark even if you’re heading into deeper waters is slim, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen, so make sure that you keep an eye out for a fin!
Other things that you should look out for when paddling in the ocean are jellyfish and sea urchins, that can occur in shallower waters. Your bright Thomas Royall swim shorts won’t protect you from a jellyfish!
However, sea-life is likely to be the least of your problems if you’re really looking to take part in some open-water swimming. Make sure that you watch out for sewage outlets, boat propellers, and jet skis, in order to stay safe in the ocean.
Watch the cold
No matter how cold the pool might be, the sea will always be colder. It’s far easier to warm up a swimming pool for the summer months than warm up the ocean. The sea relies solely on the sunshine to warm it, and no amount of sun will warm up the waters deep down in the ocean. For this reason alone, there will always be cold water you have to face, and staying safe from the cold water can be a struggle if you aren’t used to it. Don’t overestimate what you can handle, so if you’re not heading abroad during the summer months where sea temperatures are at the best temperature, you might want to reconsider your dip in the ocean.
No amount of planning is enough
No matter how much experience you have or how much you’ve researched the weather, tide times, local conditions and all of the suggested safety instructions, you can always get caught up in a situation that has gone wrong. One wrong move can drag you into a current you might struggle to get out of. The environment is constantly changing, and in the end all that you can count on is your strength and any training you might have to get out of the situation. If you aren’t a strong swimmer, maybe stick to the shallows or the swimming pool!