Sucked Under The Boilers

Sucked Under The Boilers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Open water swimmers and beach goers around the world use all kinds of terms about their local waters, sometimes tranquil, sometimes turbulent.

A colorful phrase used in Bermuda, as told by Sean O’Connell, is ‘sucked under the boilers‘. Its background is the following:

Bermuda is surrounded by reefs which, when battered by the currents and tides, tend to look like they’re ‘boiling the ocean’. These strong and sudden movements of water can result in a powerful under-draft that can pull swimmers under the surface. The experience can be terribly frightening, particularly at night.”

Dr. O’Connell should know.

The lecturer in mathematics at Bermuda College attempted to swim around Bermuda in 1976…twice. His first 37.5-mile (60.3 km) island circumnatation attempt was 35 hours long in July. He ultimately succeeded in his goal with a 43 hour 27 minute circumnavigation of Bermuda the following month when he helped raise money for the Bermuda Physically Handicapped Association.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association