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Swimming In Open Ocean Environments

Jan 2, 2008
There are some occasions where it will be necessary for people to swim in the ocean. Some people will feel quite comfortable venturing out into the ocean as long as land is in sight. This type of swimming in the ocean will usually occur in a beach setting and there may be many people around that can be contacted if the swimmer requires help reaching the shoreline.

When people plan to go snorkeling however, it might be necessary for them to abandon all land connections and board a charter boat that will take them to a coral reef location that will be out in the open ocean areas and the distance traveled by boat will make seeing land virtually impossible. In the open ocean, there are very few opportunities that a swimmer will have to be saved and they must rely on their own swimming abilities to remain afloat for any length of time.

Salt water has a consistency that will help swimmers remain afloat. The body is very buoyant when exposed to salt water and swimming through the water might require a person to use more strength in their strokes than they would if they were swimming in a swimming pool filled with fresh water. Snorkeling equipment is very light and limited because there are no air tanks involved. A swimmer can float on the surface of the water and view objects beneath them for hours if they want to.

For open ocean dives, a diver might be tasked to swim with a considerable amount of weight on their back. This is where the strength training that they take during the summer months will come in very handy and could prove to be a vital point in survival if the swimmer is stranded in the open ocean. When swimming in the open ocean, a swimmer must be keenly aware that they are not the only life forms that swim in those waters.

While swimming in open ocean environments, a swimmer must remember not to drink the salt water. While the water might quench the thirst for a little while, it will in fact, deplete the body of fluids that the swimmer needs to survive. The salt will cause the lips to become dry and the sun will scorch the areas of the skin that are above and below the surface of the water. The swimmer should use reflective devices if at all possible to bring attention to the location they are in the water.

If sharks are present while snorkeling in the open ocean, it is best for the swimmer to surface slowly and leave the water as soon as possible. Swimmers should avoid splashing or making loud noises because sharks will show interest and could perceive the noise to be a form of aggression. Divers should not swim with shiny objects on them because sharks are attracted to these objects. Divers should not go swimming in the open ocean if they have an open wound on their body for the same reasons. Sharks have a keen sense of smell and could consider the swimmer as a natural source of food.
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