Everyoneâ€™s got their theory about how best to prepare for the plunge (usually involving tots of rum or whiskey), and the best way to regain a regular human temperature afterwards (again with the whiskey). But whatâ€™s the official advice? We got on to the folks at Irish Water Safety â€” hereâ€™s what they told usâ€¦
- If youâ€™re organising a charity swim, make sure to give the details to your local Coast Guard unit and gardaÃ first.
- Appoint a â€˜safety officerâ€™ to oversee the event, and who will have the ultimate responsibility for deciding if the swim can go ahead.
- Donâ€™t take a chance on running the swim if the weather deteriorates â€” defer it to a different day.
- It is a fallacy that alcohol will keep you warm when entering the water; in fact it has the reverse effect and could well kill you. IWS says it â€œstrongly recommends that no alcohol be taken either before the swim or after the swimâ€.
- â€œMake sure you have safe access and exit points from the waterâ€â€¦ In other words, donâ€™t thoughtlessly throw yourself into the sea without a plan for how to get out!
- And the final word of advice: â€œSwimmersâ€™ remaining in the water for extended periods in a gesture of bravado is not acceptable. The message is â€˜Get In, Get Out and Warm Upâ€™.â€
Image courtesy of Tim Parkinson, CC BY 2.0