Swimming is a confusing sport, because sometimes you do it for fun, and other times you do it to not die. And when I'm swimming, sometimes I'm not sure which one it is.
- Demetri Martin
|How would you handle this situation?|
For the swim ashore training standard, I propose that everybody should be able to comfortably swim at least 1 mile in open water without any flotation assistance. We take boat rides all the time without a second thought and seldom know where the life jackets are stowed. Wearing a life jacket for an afternoon of kayaking or canoeing in a lake may interfere with getting a good tan so you leave it at the rental shack. You may fall overboard from a cruise ship while mindlessly strolling the deck at night. For those of us who are comfortable in the water, scenarios like this are hardly life threatening. We'd just compose ourselves after hitting the water and casually make our way ashore. If you aren't comfortable in the water however, you'll die rather quickly without immediate assistance.
|Swimming in the open water is very different than pool swimming|
Being a physically fit human means that you can handle yourself in a wide variety of situations. Strength and cardiovascular conditioning are huge components of this as are agility, balance, coordination and flexibility. We need to train all of these consistently but swimming in open water should be top priority--for fun, health and life.
You either do it or you don't; there's no A for effort in survival._____________________________________________________________________
*1 mile = 1,600 m = 70 lengths of a 25 yd pool (typically found in the US)