Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck
Iconic long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad’s Cuba-to-Florida exploits over the past few years — capped by her recent successful crossing of the Florida Strait without benefit of a shark cage — have put open-water swimming in the public eye as never before.
Now the public can take part in the “fun.” According to an article on the Web site active.com, a growing number of companies are offering guided swimming vacations — usually weeklong tours that include daily ocean swims of one to three miles in length. The article calls these organized excursions “the hot new thing in adventure travel.”
Gary Emich, a guide for the company SwimTrek, is quoted as follows:
“I think the thing that’s great about [these vacations] is that you can eat, drink and be merry as you would on any other vacation, but when you’re doing a swimming vacation you work it all off the next day and go to even greater excesses the next evening.”
Guide Tim Fitzpatrick of SwimVacation notes that vacationers don’t have to be world-class swimmers to participate:
“We like having clients with diverse swimming abilities. It’s not about swimming as fast as you can; it’s about enjoying the underwater scenery and the camaraderie of fellow swimmers. Our motto is swim, relax, repeat — with an emphasis on relax.”
Still, the swims can be grueling for novices, so participants should be in relatively good shape. And safety is a major concern for the organizers: For one thing, the guides are highly experienced distance swimmers. Also, small boats or kayaks accompany the swimmers, who are encouraged to get out of the water if they become overly fatigued.
To learn more about guided swimming vacations, click here.
Ripples Classic: September 5, 2012
Prince William Helps to
Rescue Drowning Teen
An article on cnn.com reports that Prince William, a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, played a key role in saving a 16-year-old girl off the Welsh coast. The teenager was caught in a riptide and likely would have drowned had assistance not arrived in time.
William, piloting a British Sea King helicopter, rushed to the scene and hovered over the struggling swimmer. A paramedic was lowered to the girl, who was exhausted and had just started going under. The CNN report quotes the paramedic as saying, “…this was one rescue where we truly did arrive in the nick of time and managed to save this young girl’s life.”
Ripples salutes Prince William (known as Flight Lt. Wales to his military compatriots) and the other members of the rescue team. Job well done!
Video: To watch a video of Prince William graduating from the Search and Rescue Force helicopter pilot training program in 2010, click here.
And with that, Ripples once again says,