USA Swimming Unveils Open Water Safety Tips and Tricks

As open water swimming increases in popularity, safety concerns surrounding the sport begin to snowball. Open water swimming already poses a laundry list of concerns and things to be aware of, outside of the risks of COVID-19.

Last week we released a blog post outlining some thoughts and helpful hints on open water swimming, USA Swimming followed up with their own formal safety checklist and even some open water workouts. Swimming World Magazine put out some information on how open water swimming might not be a complete safe-haven from the virus.

The biggest risk when thinking about open water is perhaps water temperature. Even in perfect currents, no wildlife and someone watching you, water temperature can be a life-threatening factor. Whether or not to wear a wet-suit is a case-by-case decision as temperatures and conditions can vary daily, based on your training venue.

Perhaps the most essential guideline USA Swimming released could be the presence of an assigned safety personnel within 20 seconds of a swimmer at all times during all training sessions. In other words, having designated coaches or volunteers almost immediately close by, is key to keeping you and your training partners safe at all times.

USA Swimming’s open water training guidelines can be found here, along with their recommended sample workouts and tips on how to physically structure an open water venue.

As always, we encourage you to double check your local government’s safety guidelines in addition to the checklists put forth by USA Swimming or any other governing body.
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