safety

Is it safe to swim in the River Thames?

The Thames has a reputation as a dirty river. It’s not totally undeserved. I took part in the notorious Hampton Court to Kingston swim in October 2012, when I was one of 338 people who reported getting ill. No specific cause was identified. It was most likely a bacterial or viral infection. In the days prior to the race, rainfall was several times the average for the time of year. 

Overcoming fear in the open water

A common challenge I hear from athletes about open water swimming is how to overcome fear and anxiety in the water.

I have found that having athletes focus on three key steps in preparation goes a long way to reducing stress, while increasing safety and enjoyment.

Swimmer’s Itch - protective measures, detection and treatment

Swimming at sunset, walking across moors or city parks to splash into dawn: these are glimpses of paradise for an outdoor swimmer. Sadly, in summer, there is a serpent in our garden: a tiny, fork-tailed, wormy parasite.

This parasite (of the family Schistosomatidae) causes ‘swimmer’s itch’ or more correctly cercarial dermatitis: an allergic reaction to the parasite – in its cercarial stage – burrowing into your skin.

How do you prepare for open water swimming?

Open-water swimming is good for your triathlon fitness, your state of mind and your soul. James Witts explains how to safely make the most of every different body of water now the current restrictions have been lifted in England
Research from Sport England calculates that 4.1 million of us swam in lakes, lochs, rivers and seas between November 2017 and 2018. And you can see why. 

Boris Johnson gives the go-ahead for socially distanced open water swimming in England but RLSS UK and Swim England urge caution due to safety fears

Some outdoor sports that can safely operate under the new government guidelines, including social distancing, will be able to restart from Wednesday 13 May – according to Boris Johnson in Prime Minister’s Question Time this afternoon that includes open water swimming with one other person as long as social distancing is observed at all times. This guidance applies to England only.

The Open Water Swimmer’s Dilemma

The summer and autumn of 2019 and winter of 2019/2020 have been unusual at the Guillamene cove. Not for the weather or for the sea but because we had a higher number of safety incidents than previously. There were a number of serious incidents that I am aware of that required intervention of inshore rescue and/or ambulance service.

I swam 31 rivers in 31 days and survived, but we need a clean-up

Millions swim in open water and outdoor pools in the UK and we must press for better water standards

Why would you even want to swim in a UK river? It’s cold, it’s a bit mucky and yes, it comes with risk.

I may well die of some hideous waterborne flesh-eating virus that entered the water on the wing of a migrating bird, but I love river swimming.

The health benefits and risks of cold water swimming

Want to get in on the joys of cold water swimming? We explore the many health benefits and outline how to stay safe in the open water.
Cold water swimming may seem like an odd pastime to the uninitiated.

Swimming in freezing Winter waters: Insane or exhilarating?

It is hard not to notice how swimming in the outdoors has taken off in the UK over the last few years.

But while jumping in the water on a summer’s day might be refreshing, some hardy folk continue dipping in freezing temperatures throughout the Winter. Megan Titley speaks open water swimmers from the M.A.L.L.O.W.S Facebook group to find out if they are insane or actually, more sane than otherwise.

Swimmers urged to avoid Boxing Day dip

PEOPLE are being urged not to attempt to swim across the River Thames in Henley on Boxing Day.

The informal “Boxing Day dip”, which first took place in 2009, has become a tradition but Henley Open Water Swimming Club says people should stay at home because the river conditions are dangerous and someone could be killed.

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