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  #1  
Old 05-02-2012
grom grom is offline
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grom
Default open water swimming safety and visibility

I open water swim mostly. I'm Canada the water is cold and with the dark wetsuits and the fact that my head is beneath the water line makes me almost invisible. Our lake is fairly low traffic but its always in the back of my mind that some ignorant boater may hit me. I was thinking about towing something like a lifeguards can to make me stand out. Any other advice on what would work and not interfere with my swimming?

Thanks,
Glenn
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2012
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Glenn. I swim regularly in the sea at Brighton and have identical concerns. I always wear a bright coloured swim cap, but like you say, as the head is beneath the surface this may not be visible to others (especially drunks on jet skis!). Towing a float sounds like a pain! I keep my ears open and sight on all sides regularly. Maybe you could invent some kind of flag on a stick which you strap to your back - yea, that does sound a bit silly! T
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2012
DavidBarra DavidBarra is offline
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http://www.swimmerbuddy.com/
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grom View Post
I open water swim mostly. I'm Canada the water is cold and with the dark wetsuits and the fact that my head is beneath the water line makes me almost invisible. Our lake is fairly low traffic but its always in the back of my mind that some ignorant boater may hit me. I was thinking about towing something like a lifeguards can to make me stand out. Any other advice on what would work and not interfere with my swimming?

Thanks,
Glenn
I bought a baywatch style can last year and found it too restricting so gave it and sea swimming up in exchange for boat free fresh water lakes, or some boat free pier to pier swms near our local beach.

If finding a safer place isn't an option then I would consider spraying at least the arms of my wet suit with a strong contrast colour to the water, maybe neon pink. It may seem like you are abusing a great wet suit but if you swim regularly near boats its probably not so ridiculous.

Looking forward to open water training season here in Norway and the great swim series in UK starting at the end of the month.
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2012
AWP AWP is offline
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Dave beat me to it.
Since my swims in OW will be at least partly solo I'll be using one of these or something similar this season. Last season I 'promised' no solo swims but found that cut into my time in too much. So coupled with 'shallow' solo swims and great awareness I'll give it a go.
Dave have you used one of these devices?
See ya @ BB
Alan
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2012
KatieK KatieK is offline
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The Swimmer Buddy is a bare minimum. But I personally would never swim in a wake zone without a kayak or some other escort boat/paddleboard.

Even with a bright cap and no wetsuit, it's very difficult to spot a swimmer from a boat. A boater doesn't have to be drunk or an idiot to miss you, especially if the sun is in his eyes. I sometimes have a hard time spotting a swimmer from a motorboat even when I know she's there.

As for no-wake zones, some are safer than others. The no wake zone around a marina can be extremely dangerous--boaters speed up and then cut their engines just as they cross so they can get to the marina as fast as possible.

A no wake zone in front of a no boat zone is very safe--boaters are just coming in there to swim or fish. I just make sure to talk to them and make sure they see me. A no wake zone by the shore is pretty safe, but you can get some idiot/drunk jetskiers in there. Those areas are usually fine on weekdays and early mornings.
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2012
DavidBarra DavidBarra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
The Swimmer Buddy is a bare minimum. But I personally would never swim in a wake zone without a kayak or some other escort boat/paddleboard.
I agree Katie.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2014
skier skier is offline
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thanks you, KatieK, for this comment. "A boater doesn't have to be drunk or an idiot to miss you, especially if the sun is in his eyes. I sometimes have a hard time spotting a swimmer from a motorboat even when I know she's there." We too often condemn others and say they're stupid, or worse, because we're doing different activities, whether it be fishing, swimming or skiing. This morning when we went out to ski at 7 a.m., there was a woman swimming with an orange float. We happened to see her, but would we have if the water was rough? She said she didn't expect skiers to be out at that time, but by the same token, we don't expect swimmers to be out early. I regret we didn't talk more and try to figure out how we can both do what we love to do safely.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2014
SitkaSwift SitkaSwift is offline
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Default Open Water Visibility

I swim with a "Swimming Hall of Fame" inflatable orange float/dry bag. I don't even know it is there except on rare occasions with big cross wind when your hand will brush against it at the end of the stroke. Highly recommend it.
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
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Couldn't get proper access to the SwimmerBuddy (just saw some quotes), but this is maybe a similar thing for European https://shopdesq.imgstg.com/index.cf...in&OrgID=20431 from the UK based ChillSwim Shop.
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