Safety: First, Foremost And Velocity Neutral

Safety: First, Foremost And Velocity Neutral

Open water swimmers and triathletes often push the envelope. Adventurist types want to see what they are made of and see how close they can reach their true potential. When such adventurers and endurance junkies go beyond what is reasonable, they relish in the risk-taking behavior.

When the open bodies of water are rough or strewn with jellyfish or whether the swims are held under extreme temperatures, aquatic thrill-seekers sometimes take it to the edge.

Swimming to the edge in the open water introduces elements of risk that should be understood and addressed. Swimming with a buddy and within one’s own limits are keys to keeping safe.

Rick Senn, President of Lo Drag, maker of the Swim IT, reminds swimmers and triathletes, “We often say that “safety is first” on our priority list before we go out for an open water swim. But what is meant when we say that “safety is first?” It means that we are going to manage our risk at acceptable levels that are different for different people in different conditions at different times. Once we understand that risk, then we accept it as we take that first stroke away from the shoreline. What can you do to manage the inherent risk of swimming in cold or rough water? Consider a swim safety device as part of your risk management plan.”

It is not wimpy. It is wise.

If safety is wimpy, then so are bullet-proof vests, parachutes on fighter pilots, and cycling helmets. Safety precautions are for the wise who know what they are doing. A swim safety device is not a new concept. Until recently, it meant dragging something behind you as you swim,” explains Senn. “None of the early devices were approved for racing by USA Triathlon or the World Triathlon Corporation that owns the Ironman brand. But with the introduction of the approved Swim IT, athletes can now not only train, but race with a safety device.

These devices are not approved by USA Swimming or U.S. Masters Swimming or other governing bodies, but USA Triathlon is taking the lead on open water swimming safety. Even though its not approved by USA Swimming or U.S. Masters Swimming yet, it is a useful training day safety aid. The Swim IT will not make you swim any faster or slower; it is of neutral velocity. Its ability to help in emergencies and be of neutral velocity are what enabled the Swim IT to be approved for racing by the triathlon major governing bodies. But first and foremost, the Swim IT will allow you to swim with peace of mind. Swim IT is a compact and lightweight pouch worn on the back of your right leg with an inflatable PFD (personal flotation device) inside. In cases of unanticipated emergencies, athletes can just pull on the red tab and the personal flotation device will instantly inflate.”

English Channel swimmer John Muenzer, Ingrid Loos Miller of Fearless Swimming renown, and Stephe McCormick, who provides lifeguard services to USA Triathlon-sanctioned events, each talked about how wearing a safety device during open water swims just made sense in every way. Cold water or rough. Leg cramps or an upset stomach. Hyperventilation or finding yourself in the midst of mindless Jet Skiers or oncoming windsurfers blindly unaware of your presence, the Swim IT is essential when you most need it. “Swim IT is comfortable and causes no chaffing or irritation or detectable drag.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones