Bantry Life Boat

A Search & Rescue Not For Profit Institution

Safety Tips

In the last article, we talked about certain things every person can do in order to maintain safer communities – especially those around waters (such as the sea, lakes and rivers.) Although it is important to make sure we are helping each other out as much as possible, it is equally important to help out ourselves as much as we can. So in other words, there are certain things we can do in order to avoid disaster.

In this article, one of the most common safety tips will be suggested for everyone that enjoys going out for a swim. Some of these you will have heard of elsewhere, but I will try and share with you the most important ones so that you can both keep them in mind, but also share them with family and friends.

  • Don’t Go For A Swim With A Full Belly.

Okay, this is an easy one. Since we were very little, we have been taught to always allow our stomachs to digest all the food we have eaten prior, before we even think of returning to the water. The reason they say this, is basically because when you are trying to swim with a full belly, you will tire much faster. Not only that, but besides going straight to the bottom of the sea, many times you may throw up in the water. So that will create a very big problem for you, and you are putting yourself in danger of drowning. So when you decide to have a nice ham sandwich lunch, make sure you allow yourself to rest and digest for at least 2 hours before you decide to go for a swim. Please don’t let sandwich be a reason they box you up much sooner than usual.

  • Do Not Wear Heavy Jewelry

This makes a lot of sense (common sense.) I would suggest you don’t go into the water with jewelry in general because you may lose it (but that’s a different story.) You don’t know if you will get a cramp while you are swimming, so allowing yourself to be as light as you can possibly be, will ensure that you are able to make it in the unfortunate situation that you start facing swimming difficulties. Also, when it comes to sharks, the last thing you want to do is attract them with your flashy gold.

  • Do Not Wear Red Suits

If the ocean and experience have taught us anything, that is you never want to dress up as if you are a big fish all covered in blood. Wearing red clothes won’t affect your swimming capabilities, but it will make some hungry sharks very aggressive. If you are planning on swimming in a lake or river, then you don’ really have a problem – unless of course you are swimming with crocodiles…that is a different story.

  • Take So Breaks

Again, you don’t need to be a genius to understand this one: make sure you are taking some time to cool off and relax before you jump back in the water. Tired muscles can be the reason you are paddling your way to shore while putting yourself in danger. If you are not a very fit person, you can get tire easily – especially when there are waves or the rivers is very strong against you. So take 5-10 minute breaks for every 30 minutes you swim. It’s also a good opportunity to hydrate yourself before you jump back in.

  • Be A Aware Of Lake Bacteria

This doesn’t have to do much with drowning, but it is life threatening. In ponds and lakes, there are certain bacteria that are a great danger to anyone swimming in those waters. These will climb in through your nose and into your brain and basically eat your brain until you are dead. This bacteria is calledĀ Naegleria fowleri and you should always make sure you talk with the locals before you jump into any water like that. It would be very pity for you to go in for a swim, and come out with this bacteria – leaving you to die a few weeks later.

  • Always Bring Someone With You

It makes sense, that if you go alone and especially if there is no one else around, you are putting yourself in danger. You need to make sure there is at least one person with you so that you can look out for each other in an unfortunate situation. Say for example that there is a shark attack: you won’t be able to get to shore on your own and you certainly won’t get any medical treatment on your own. Or let’s say that you are swimming and get tired: your friend can easily jump in and help you get back to shore. It is a very wise move to bring someone with you because face it: you can’t do everything on your own and we all have weaknesses. Also, that will allow you to have a ball!

So, hopefully there are some very good insights here for you, and I certainly hope you enjoyed this article. Please stay tuned for much more value and a lot more stories about volunteer rescuers.