122

There don't seem to be any detailed statistics, but common-sense will tell you that open-water swimming away from the shore is not risk-free. The hazards can be split into four categories: 1 - Wind and currents Even in the Med wind and currents can be problematic. On one windy day in 2013, for example, seven swimmers drowned along just one stretch of the ...


58

Well, there's the obvious issue that the bottom may shelve very steeply, so that non-swimmers trying to paddle may drown. Beyond that, I think there's a specific point and a more general point. Specifically, deep water is more dangerous in terms of cold water shock. In the first 3-5 minutes after entering cold water there can be a gasp reflex or muscle ...


51

Lots of swim/board shorts come with key keepers in the pockets. Chances are you may even have one in the swimwear you own. It's simply a length of elastic cord stitched into your pocket. If you don't have one, it can easily be added. You attach your keys to the loop using a girth hitch:


49

The other answers already told you about exhaustion, I can tell you firsthand how dangerous cramps could be. I was swimming together with my former girlfriend in Ustka, Poland on the coast of the Baltic Sea. I would say that I am an average swimmer with a good constituition so I can swim several kilometers and I never had cramps before. There was no ...


39

There are a few ways to do this in addition to the previous answer. If you have a car with a hitch: This is what we use when we SCUBA dive. Since you are only swimming and presumably not going to great depths, you can also use a waterproof wallet. I have two varieties: Or: The wallets tend to run less than $10, the hitch lock is more like $30-$50.


37

There are these types of dry-bags that float and are combined with a leash and waist band. They are often marketed as primarely a "safety buoy", as they provide you with visibility, which is definitely a nice thing if there are boats around. Many of them just have a small pouch for keys/wallet/phone, but there exists variants with much more capacity. ...


29

If it's just the keys that need securing, I love key wristbands. They are properly secure and you have the key in sight if you are a bit paranoid about it ;) I prefer it over any kinds of bags on strings, as it gives you less of a hassle and less of a feeling you might lose that stuff dangling from your wrist at any moment. If you hit your favourite online ...


29

Even though the question describes a hypothetical and unlikely situation I think it has some merits as it is somewhat relevant for SCUBA diving also: it describes an emergency uncontrolled SCUBA ascent (swimming or buoyant). Note that the answer below assumes an absolute emergency only that requires an immediate no-air ascent. As in, you either reach the ...


28

We've has a similar question on Travel.SE. The answer below is largely based on this other answer of mine. Invest in a Dry Egg/Box My suggestion is to carry your keys in the water with you when you go for a dip. Keys can easily fit in what is called a freediving dry egg/box which, as the name suggests, is a gadget used by divers to keep their stuff dry ...


25

I learned the following in my lifeguard training from the Boy Scouts: REACH: Victim(s) are located close to the shoreline and the rescuer(s) can retrieve them by reaching with their persons, rescue pole or hook, an oar, a backboard, etc without having to enter the water. Victim(s) must be conscious, alert, and able to grab and hold on to the ...


23

I cannot swim, so if I am expecting something to be shallow enough to stand in and then it turns out that it is much deeper then I will die. Normally I would expect that water gradually get deeper but in the case of a steep increase in depth, like a quarry, it may not be so obvious. I appreciate the deep water signs as well as not being dead.


23

I would be very leary about taking keys out into the water - most car modern car keys are not particular water proof and if you lose it in the water, it's pretty much gone for good. I use a combination lock box that attaches to my car. Eg something similar to this This allows you to leave bigger items in the car and rely on the car locks to keep every ...


23

First and foremost: Don't Panic At 30m, you'll be fine if you can free yourself within about 20 minutes and know what you're doing. That being said, there is a good chance you won't know your exact depth, so the sooner the better is going to be your guiding principle. (At 40m, your time drops to 8 minutes. At 20m, you have 45 minutes.) PADI and NAUI both ...


21

One reason is geometry. If people on the shore know the approximate direction you went to swim, your possible location could be anywhere inside a circular sector. The area of this sector depends on the square of the radius: Each time you double the distance to the shore, you divide by 4 the chances of someone finding you if you ever need help and cannot be ...


20

There are two sources of danger, both of which are unexpected. The first has to do with the variations of your condition. Based on what you have written, you can do say, two kilometers on an "average" day. Then it seems that you can swim safely one kilometer out and one kilometer back. But there will be some days that are not so average, one when you can ...


19

This is highly dependent on the type of water as well as the location, but I'll summarise a few things to be aware of. In many locations most of these dangers won't factor in, but they're useful things to bear in mind if you're trying to assess the danger of a particular body of water. I'll focus on the sea here - for other things such as rivers similar ...


18

Walk backwards. The fins will have the least trouble with the water if you walk backwards.


16

Yes. My wife is a geologist and has been on a couple of research cruises in the south Pacific and Indian oceans. It used to be quite common to have a "swim call" when the seas were calm. The vessel would stop, and the crew and scientific staff would go for a swim. In one case a student lost her leg to a shark during a swim call on a NOAA ship. I believe that ...


16

I was always taught three very important things to consider before you even attempt to rescue someone in distress in the water. You, yourself, all alone, barely float. You might think you're awesome at back floating, but put just a ten pound weight on your chest and see if you can still float. A person will weigh more than that. People in distress in the ...


16

As a nudist/naturist, I've been to resorts where I've rented a cabin or trailer and needed to keep the key with me. As the resort(s) deal with people who aren't wearing trunks or have pockets, the key they provided was attached to a coil wristband, much like a telephone receiver cord. I was then able to keep it around my wrist the whole day while swimming, ...


15

Survival Float. A survival float-also know as a deadman float or jellyfish float–is when you relax your body, over-inflate your lungs, and try to stay afloat using natural buoyancy by either laying out on your back or your front. On your front you obviously need to come up for air regularly, but on your back you can relax and just focus on your breathing ...


15

One thing not yet mentioned is quickness and ease of rescue. In my younger years, I was a trained lifeguard, and though my certification is long expired, I remember most of the concepts. A struggling swimmer on the surface is one thing, but a swimmer that has been witnessed going down, or worse, reported missing by a companion, is quite another. For such ...


14

I did a lot of swimming in NW Ontario when I was a kid, and I've spent more time swimming in lakes and rivers than I have in swimming pools. I find the phrasing of this question curious, because I've never heard any one use the words "wild swimming" nor have I ever considered swimming in a mountain lake or a river "wild". None the less, there are some ...


14

Very low budget solution: Safety pin your key to your swimsuit--inside a pocket if possible.


13

For scuba diving this practice has no use. as you will be under water for a while and will be breathing compressed air from your cylinder. In the old days people used this for free diving / skin diving /snorkeling to be able to hold breath for longer. I do not want to go into long discussions why this works, but in layman's terms it suppresses the bodies ...


13

Until you got to "shorts and T shirt" I'd have said a waterproof belt bag. I've used them kayaking (on the rare occasions when it's warm enough to go without a drysuit or at least dry-cag in the UK) and for swimming in the sea/lakes/rivers. They'll hold a decent wallet, phone and keys without much effect on your swimming. If possible, avoid trying to take ...


12

As gerrit notes, swimming in lakes is common in Scandinavia, and there's not a lot of fauna in them that could even potentially be harmful. Some lakes in southern Sweden apparently do have leeches, which can attach themselves to exposed human skin or, in some cases, to the insides of body cavities. If you were planning to swim in a leech-infested lake (a ...


12

Always surface dive/snorkel first. I have cliff dived in two locations - one is normally deceptive: poor visibility, shadows etc but on visual checks turned out to have 100 ft straight down to a sandy floor; the other looked clear and deep but had rocky ledges at about 20 feet! Considering we dived from 80 - 100 feet, that second location was scary! ...


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