What Is A Swim Streamer?
A swim streamer is called many things in the open water swimming world: swimmer’s streamer, swimmer’s guide, underwater streamer, streamer (or sarashi in Japanese). It is a long piece of cloth or material that either runs underneath an open water swimmer or parallel to the swimmer’s escort boat for the benefit of guiding and protecting a swimmer during an ocean swim or channel crossing.
The swim streamer cloth or material is used during daytime hours. The material can be illuminated during the night for easier viewing. The streamer can be pulled alongside the escort boat and submerged with weights so the material runs 1-2 meters underneath the surface of the water.
The swim streamer serves to help guide the swimmer and as a shark deterrent if the swimmer swims directly above the submerged swim streamer in sharky waters.
Its advantages include serving as a navigational aid since the swimmer can look straight down in the water at the swim streamer on every stroke in order swim straight or parallel to the escort boat. The swimmer can also conserve energy and improve their navigational course by not constantly looking up at the boat, especially during the night.
But, also very importantly, sharks can be deterred by its length and proximity to the swimmer. A swim streamer has been used in the Tsugaru Channel and the Sado Channel in Japan for decades in order to protect against sharks and other marine life.
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