I try to look forward and flip to my back to look backward every five or so strokes, but my goggles eventually fog up. It's hard to see boats unless I'm constantly stopping to clean out my goggles.

Would it be a good idea to tie a helium mylar balloon around my waist? I think this would be a good way for boats to notice me more easily.

I swim for about 1-2 hours. Usually I see at least two boats:

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  • One extreme way that would work is having a drone hover over me with a banner/flag. Although, I don't want to buy such a thing and integrate a sensor... a lot of work that a balloon could do nearly as good a job.
    – adamaero
    Aug 7, 2020 at 17:36
  • Every 5-6 strokes? From how far away can you see the boats? Do you mean 2 boats during the swim, or 2 boats at any one time you look? That's a rare place to swim :) A helium balloon with a large flourescent banner seems better than nothing. Aug 7, 2020 at 18:42
  • 1
    I've seen folk swim with little orange floaters behind them. Don't know enough about them too really put that as an answer, but that's certainly something I'd look into. search up "Swim Buoy orange" the drones, btw, would not last 1-2 hours. Aug 7, 2020 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


Tow floats in bright colours are meant for this and most also carry a small amount of stuff (example that holds a water bottle; others have a dry compartment for your keys/phone/money) . Swimming with them takes a bit of getting used to.

Hi-vis or very bright swimming caps also exist and cost very little. I recently bought one in bright orange for much shorter swims in navigable rivers.

In a very busy waterway, a safety boat will probably be needed. This could often be a kayak, but obviously needs someone willing and able.

  • BTW I'm told there are better goggles for outdoor swimming. Like yours mine fog badly, though they're adequate in the pool.
    – Chris H
    Aug 8, 2020 at 11:46

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