It’s been well documented of the importance in making yourself visible in open water. Wearing high performing colours in changeable conditions like the neon green shade I use for my branded silicone swim caps can save your life. However, what about making yourself heard?
I always swim and coach with a whistle attached tight to my wrist. This is so I can communicate effectively with my swimmers, if necessary, and for my own safety when I swim.
As the whistle is tight on my wrist it means it’s not dragging, very practical, accessible and it doesn’t interfere with my stroke. Much better than it trailing from a tow float where it can get caught on something or be difficult to locate.
It’s also better to have it attached on my wrist than on somewhere else like around my neck, PE teacher style. If you’re in the vicinity of a swim buddie who gets distressed and in a pre-drowning phase, they are likely to pull and grab towards you, including whatever slack cord the whistle is dangling off. If that happens, you’re both in trouble so best avoided!
On the subject of swim buddies, it might be worthwhile setting out expectations with each other in terms of whistle communication and what means what prior to getting in the water. Clear, concise communication which means you can focus on tuning into your body, staying safe and your buddies know what you’re doing. For example, “3 loud short blasts means I’m in danger and in need of assistance.”
So, whistle on wrist - the cheapest, simplest and one of the most practical safety precautions you can take to communicate and make yourself heard in open water. The whistle in the photo was a actually a gift from my open water swim coach tutor Sarah Wiseman and the old hair bobble it’s attached to was up-cycled from my wife!… clearly not my own, being follicly challenged, or as I like to call it “aqua-dynamic”!
Be seen, be heard and swim safe.
if you follow me on Instagram @swim_danthemerman_argyll or Facebook @swimdanthemermanargyll you can access all of my previous “Top Tips” (I haven’t always posted these as blogs but I will do in the future).
You can expect some more Top Tip posts in the coming weeks!