Safety:The open water swimmer’s best friends

Today I had a great swim but also an unpleasant incident.

We started at my home beach going straight over to the closest mini archipelago – Lindholmen, Mellanholmen and Bärbyholme. The weather was lovely but the waves where pretty annoying – almost like “staccato”.  They hurt and stopped me getting into a nice flow.

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We decided to take a longer route than planned. I recall I thought I wasn´t prepared for this tour since I was slightly dehydrated after drinking only coffe all day and I hadn´t recovered from Åstol round yet. I also had forgotten to apply Safe Sea jellyfisk sting protective lotion. Anyhow we took the safe route around the more sheltered Mellanholmen.

The water is partly very shallow. We could not make full armstrokes for several hundreds of meters. The eelgrass was partly pretty annoying but managable. What I do not like about eelgrass is not only it’s way to writhing around limbs but also having lionsmane jellies sticked to their shafts. You cannot spot them since their shape is similar to the vegetation close to the root.

The water was so shallow that we had to walk a short path at the north passage but it was F.U.N.  I love this kind of expedition.

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 On our last passage I got a really bad attack of cramp in calf and hamstring of my left leg. I hauled in my swimmer buoy and rested. My friend – that was much faster and about 100 meters away – noticed my situation and went back caring for me.  After a few minutes “stretching” and resting we started again.

I didn´t swim more than 100 meters before the cramp was back – now even worse.  My both friend cared for me this time too – the human and the bouy.  After a few minutes I tried once again only to fail. I decided then to swim with whatever was still usable and made it for my home beach. I swam just like a crab is walking – side wards.
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  • Always bring your swimmer buoy. You must be visible for boats. You might get cramp, involuntary gulp water, hit a jelly or simply get tired –  you might need it as a rescue if you get in trouble.
  • Always bring a friend or at least have someone on the beach watching for you
  • Don´t panic if something happens – just pull the buoy in, rest and reconsider your situation. You can manage much more than you can imagine. You have to take control over the situation.
  • Bring a mobile in a water proof plastic bag in your buoy. If you have to take another route home than planned you might need to call for someone.
  • Consider wind report and swimming direction before going out. Make sure you have the easiest part when you are heading home.
  • Use Safe Sea jellyfish sting protective lotion if you want to avoid that kind of unpleasant surprise.