The International Ice Swimming Association (or the IISA) is an extreme swimming governing body that was founded by Ram Barkai to conduct and govern extreme cold-water and ice swimming events (ice miles) where the maximum water temperature is 41°F (5°C) and wetsuits are not allowed. It was selected as the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
The International Ice Swimming Association conducts the Speedo Ice Swim in the high-altitude (1400 meters) Nuwedam in Fraserburg, Northern Cape, known as the coldest region of South Africa. It is a one-mile swim held in water 5°C or less and also includes a 600-meter qualification swim for those swimmers who will to enter the one-mile event in the future.
Swimmers usually emerged from the cold water of the International Ice Swimming Association events discolored in various shades from the extreme cold, some barely able to talk or walk. However, there are always adequate temporary medical facilities staffed by experienced doctors and nurses at the finish.
The IISA oversees and ratifies Ice swims all over the world including England (British Ice Swimming Championships in Windermere) and Ireland (Ireland Ice Swimming Championships). Its Fraserburg event is one of the World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims.
The IISA organizes and sanctions the Ice Cup or International Ice Swimming Association World Cup circuit.
The vision of the International Ice Swimming Association is as follows: