Swimming in the icy waters of the Antarctic Ocean

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What happens when you jump into freezing water?

One of the reasons the ocean’s ‘down south’ are not frozen in Summer, is because the ocean is saline (it contains salt from rocks and minerals) and therefore freeze at a lower temperature than the surrounding fresh water ice blocks, which originally come from gigantic icebergs – which crackle like Rice Krispies on contact with saline water and the heat of the sunshine.

The human body is only able to withstand a couple of minutes in the freezing water in this condition before the onset of hypothermia, as we almost find out on a filming trip to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Don’t try this at home! We had a safety boat on hand and hot showers and drinks to come straight back to. It can be extremely dangerous.

Swimming in the icy waters of the Antarctic Ocean from Simon Vacher on Vimeo.

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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