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Effluent Man
25th Aug 2016, 02:20
Reports that the bodies pulled from the water yesterday were black men in their 20's all fully clothed. This looks like an attempt at immigration that went very wrong.

abgd
25th Aug 2016, 02:38
Maybe... but there are black men already living in Britain so on a sunny day on the beach I don't see any reason to jump to that conclusion. I imagine we'll find out soon enough, so why speculate? Either way, it's very sad.

Effluent Man
25th Aug 2016, 07:40
I rather thought that was the point of posting anything news related. Surely the whole raison d'Ítre of journalism itself is to break the news early, not wait around saying "why speculate"
When I posted this there was no mention of the possibility in the media, I was alerted to this by a text from a friend who lives in the area and heard it from a police source.

Interestingly it has now appeared in a Daily Mirror online report, about an hour ago.

vctenderness
25th Aug 2016, 08:24
On SKY news this morning they said they were looking for a sixth body.

So I presume they must have some idea of who they were.

My guess is illegals and maybe washed up rather than entering the sea at Camber.

Cazalet33
25th Aug 2016, 08:48
The law enforcement agencies are necessarily being very coy about what they know.

The ugly truth is that our coastlines are amazingly porous to criminal entrants.

Border Farce has just five patrol boats. One of them is on loan to a Mediterranean EU country; one is in dry dock. That leaves three, of which one is alongside the wall for maintenance and resupply at any one time. That leaves two boats to patrol 10,000 miles of coastline. Pathetic.

Sallyann1234
25th Aug 2016, 09:17
Don't worry Cazalet.
We are promised that immigration will be strictly controlled after Brexit. :ok:

Pontius Navigator
25th Aug 2016, 09:42
Don't worry Cazalet.
We are promised that immigration will be strictly controlled after Brexit. :ok:
Controlled, yes, but that is official requests to immigrate based on a skills test and probably focussed on EU applicants. What about attempts at illegal entry?

Curious Pax
25th Aug 2016, 09:53
Police say it was a group of lads (teens/twenties) down from London for the day. A tragic ending for them, but sadly not that unusual at this time of year. No lifeguards stationed at that beach unfortunately.

Cazalet33
25th Aug 2016, 10:13
Police now say that the deceased were not fully dressed, but were dressed appropriately for the beach.

So, not illegal immigrants.

A very odd tragedy nonetheless.

Nemrytter
25th Aug 2016, 10:21
Controlled, yes, but that is official requests to immigrate based on a skills test and probably focussed on EU applicants. What about attempts at illegal entry?Aah, another brexit success.
So, not illegal immigrants.Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be able to moan about immigrants again soon.

Sallyann1234
25th Aug 2016, 10:21
Pontius,
I'm sorry if my attempt at sarcasm wasn't sufficiently clear. :}

With so much coastline so close to the continent I don't see how we can ever prevent illegal entry. But others have assured us that it won't be a problem...

AtomKraft
25th Aug 2016, 10:35
I hope that this will not be seen as in bad taste, but I remember from my early days being told that black people, males in particular, tend not to swim as well as non blacks.

This seems to have a germ of truth as you rarely see black people in the pool at sporting events, especially at the higher levels- like the olympics.

Does anyone know if this is true or not?

And whether it is or isn't, my heart goes out to these guys and their families. I've had a couple of near death experiences in the water, and it's not nice.

750XL
25th Aug 2016, 11:22
I couldn't speak for black Europeans, but certainly in Africa the ability to swim is few and far between - even in Uganda/Tanzania/Kenya around Lake Victoria where you'd assume swimming was part and parcel of life.

There's always countless news stories of overloaded boats capsizing in Africa and almost all occupants perishing, including the crew, who can't swim :sad: A lot of Africans are fearful of water and won't even go near a lake, nevermind in it.

Effluent Man
25th Aug 2016, 11:38
It's muscle mass. Black people tend to have a higher percentage of muscle, it's probably as a result of the fact that they spent far longer than white people as hunter gatherers and tended to develop that way. As a consequence they will sink rather than float. I was at college with a very muscular bloke and it always amused us that he couldn't float.

Ancient Mariner
25th Aug 2016, 11:57
It's muscle mass.
Now that explains a thing or two about my ability to float, or more precisely, lack thereof.
I sink like a spanner, feet first. Wife finds it amusing as she bobs around like a cork. :*
Per

charliegolf
25th Aug 2016, 12:04
I couldn't speak for black Europeans, but certainly in Africa the ability to swim is few and far between

Which goes a good way to explaining why it took around 120 years for a black person to win an olympic gold medal at swimming.

As for the drownings- I'd like to know what, if anything is special about Camber Sands (rips, undertows, unusual temps etc). If any of these were present, then such beaches are not usually frequented by huge numbers, invariably including families with young kids. Also, what were the timings? Six get swept out- one or two might drown quickly from panic/crap swimming ability; but all six?

CG

abgd
25th Aug 2016, 12:12
I rather thought that was the point of posting anything news related. Surely the whole raison d'Ítre of journalism itself is to break the news early, not wait around saying "why speculate"


When I was younger you didn't get rolling news. There was time to gather facts before the next bulletin; more analysis and less speculation. We were better off for it.

I can see the appeal - and importance - of speculation on matters that are likely to remain unclear for some time e.g. mh370... But it seems a bit futile to me when it's clear answers will be forthcoming shortly - in this case within just a few hours.

edited 26/8/2016:

So imagine you're a friend or relative of the men who drowned - quite possibly 'black' yourself. I think it would be fairly natural to read some of the news and discussion about the case. Indeed it seems one was studying aeronautical engineering so it may well be that some of his friends will read PPRUNE.

Whilst grieving you find that half the country has decided that they were probably illegal immigrants who couldn't swim because Africans can't swim. And the grounds for this assumption: absolutely no justification other than the fact that they were had dark skin. And if you were to judge it by this thread, few people seem saddened by the event.

So it turns out that they were not illegal immigrants, not even African. Frankly Effluent_Man, in your position I'd be embarrassed.

fujii
25th Aug 2016, 12:18
I reckon the black / white argument is way off the mark. I comes down to facilities in their home countries. Swimming pools cost a lot which many places can't afford. No pools, no lessons therefore no idea of water safety whereas here in Australia. Every primary school child has swimming and water safety lessons. It is not unusual here to have overseas visitors drown in summer, often more than one from the same family as a rescue is attempted.

Contrast this with the success of African runners where the only training requirement is flat ground and a pair of shoes.

Effluent Man
25th Aug 2016, 12:28
I don't think that would explain it though. If you have no interest in water and by extension swimming you probably won't go near the sea, and if you do you will by definition not go beyond standing depth. I lived five minutes walk from the beach as a kid and there were regular drownings. It was almost always those who were competent swimmers who pushed themselves beyond safe limits due to their confidence.

The same applies to driving, experienced and more skilful drivers go faster with more serious consequences when they make a mistake.

TWT
25th Aug 2016, 12:32
USA Swimming - African-American Swimmers: Why the Disparity? (http://www.usaswimming.org/viewnewsarticle.aspx?tabid=0&itemid=7727&mid=14491)

Mechta
25th Aug 2016, 13:03
[QUOTE]
I couldn't speak for black Europeans, but certainly in Africa the ability to swim is few and far between - even in Uganda/Tanzania/Kenya around Lake Victoria where you'd assume swimming was part and parcel of life.QUOTE]

In a part of the world with everything from waterborne parasites to hippos and crocodiles lurking beneath the surface, is it really surprising that swimming isn't too popular?

funfly
25th Aug 2016, 13:14
TWT. I dont go along with the idea that everything is the fault of slavery.
I am one of these people with negative boyancy. yes I can swim but its hard work and if I stop I simply go down. No enjoyment in it for me.
Not a lack of fat issue as I am overweight but this has been the situation all my life.
When I swam in later life I wore a boyancy belt which allowed me just to float, but to say it was embarassing at the pool was an understatement.
edited to say that I am white european.
FF

Cazalet33
25th Aug 2016, 13:21
I can confirm that most Nigerians can't swim.

When working for Shell in the Niger Delta we had a regulation that everyone had to pass a basic swimming test. The Shell pool in Port Harcourt was exactly one foot short of the Olympic standard. This was because when the pool was built the African Games were due to be held Nigeria. Shell realised that if the pool was of qualifying length it, and the whole of the Residential Area at Umukuroshe would be poggled by the government.

The test required a simple length, plus a width to be swum completely underwater, plus a minute of treading water to be followed immediately by an underwater swim to recover an object from the bottom of the deep end. Very simple for the ex-pats, but very few Nigerians could hack it. Even guys from creek-side villages who bathed in the Niger or the Bonny daily couldn't actually swim.

When hiring nationals to be trained as flight attendants on the 212 fleet the principal limitation was that they had to be able to pass the swim test. That severely limited our choice of candidates and is why so many of them were complete wastes of space.

Working in Gabon I found that a slightly higher percentage of locals could swim, but that was largely a result of French colonial rule.

Cabinda and Sudan are other places where very few locals could swim, even those from coastal villages who paddled dugout canoes as a matter of daily routine.

Mechta
25th Aug 2016, 13:39
The Daily Heil is reporting them to be of Sri Lankan descent:

Camber Sands death toll reaches 5 | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3756569/Three-people-pulled-unconscious-waves-Camber-Sands-rescue-teams-try-desperately-revive-them.html)

charliegolf
25th Aug 2016, 14:28
I reckon the black / white argument is way off the mark. I comes down to facilities in their home countries.

No shortage of sprint training facilities in UK. How many 100m, 200m or 400m medals went to white athletes in those events? In the last 100 years.

Tankertrashnav
25th Aug 2016, 14:41
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the first thing that sprang to my mind.

Think about it, half a dozen lads (of whatever ethnicity) are down from London for a day out. Whats the first thing they're going to do when they hit the beach - especially in that hot weather? Yes obviously - get stuck into the cold beers. A few of them, followed by a dip in cold water (and the English Channel is always cold), and you have a recipe for disaster.

There may be a connection due to ethnicity. Only one example, my daughter's Indian partner is a fit wiry guy who takes part in half-marathons, etc, but he cant swim a stroke and has no desire to learn.

AtomKraft
25th Aug 2016, 14:46
I remember listening to a program on Radio Four a few years ago. It was a documentary about a charity who were teaching young kids in Africa how to swim as quite a few were drowning.

The interviewer asked how many kids a year drowned in one lake- it was Victoria.

I was staggered to hear his reply was five THOUSAND a year, and that was just in Victoria!

Clearly something going on.......:suspect:

Effluent Man
25th Aug 2016, 14:57
It may be that the people from places like Sri Lanka are relatively untouched by health and safety and have a totally different view of risk. I seem to recall in my youth far more people being killed and injured in all kinds of accidents. One lad in my class at school drowned after swimming out on a car inner tube and losing his grip on it.

ATNotts
25th Aug 2016, 15:00
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the first thing that sprang to my mind.

Think about it, half a dozen lads (of whatever ethnicity) are down from London for a day out. Whats the first thing they're going to do when they hit the beach - especially in that hot weather? Yes obviously - get stuck into the cold beers. A few of them, followed by a dip in cold water (and the English Channel is always cold), and you have a recipe for disaster.

There may be a connection due to ethnicity. Only one example, my daughter's Indian partner is a fit wiry guy who takes part in half-marathons, etc, but he cant swim a stroke and has no desire to learn.
When I first heard the story yesterday that is exactly what I thought. It never occurred to me that they might be migrants.

750XL
25th Aug 2016, 15:14
In a part of the world with everything from waterborne parasites to hippos and crocodiles lurking beneath the surface, is it really surprising that swimming isn't too popular?

There's still some clean lakes, I've swam in many in Africa. But drownings are still frequent, and locals still can't swim in them.

Five Drown In Lake Bunyonyi (http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1433510/drown-lake-bunyonyi)

meadowrun
25th Aug 2016, 16:38
Can't imagine not learning to swim as a life basic requirement.
You never know when you might find yourself on some Italian cruise ship with a rogue macho capitano who likes to carve his boat around rocky corners. One hole, that's all.

racedo
25th Aug 2016, 18:12
Well seems it was a day out and the tide overtook them.

ORAC
25th Aug 2016, 18:32
Let's go down to the beach and get ripped.....

rugmuncher
25th Aug 2016, 18:39
No shortage of sprint training facilities in UK. How many 100m, 200m or 400m medals went to white athletes in those events? In the last 100 years.
Actually there are quite a few when you think back.

British Athletics Official Website | Hall of Fame Athletes (http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/ba-home-straight/hall-of-fame-athletes/)

jetset lady
25th Aug 2016, 18:42
As for the drownings- I'd like to know what, if anything is special about Camber Sands (rips, undertows, unusual temps etc). If any of these were present, then such beaches are not usually frequented by huge numbers, invariably including families with young kids. Also, what were the timings? Six get swept out- one or two might drown quickly from panic/crap swimming ability; but all six?

CG

I live nearby and Camber is notorious for rip tides. The tide goes out a long way and is realtively shallow, leaving the sandbars exposed. People tend to be complacent as it all looks so benign. But when that tide comes in, it comes in fast and from all directions. Add in the lack of lifeguards - an ongoing local concern - and it becomes a lethal combination.

Word in the area is that they were playing football on one of the sandbars and got cut off by the incoming tide.

Pontius Navigator
25th Aug 2016, 18:52
SallyAnn, no I got it, late, but I don't have an emoticon facility on this device.

charliegolf
25th Aug 2016, 22:08
Thanks Jetset...

CG

Peter-RB
26th Aug 2016, 10:10
In the mid 80's Mrs R-B and I were holidaying in Corfu, we went round on a motorbike to visit the faraway bays and beaches of the Island, very nice most of them and looked picture perfect, however at a Bay on the western side away from Corfu Town lies Glyfada beach really nice place, and hot ..but has a steep shelving beach and some frightening undertow currents with big to very big breakers most of the time, a lot of Brits and Germans were there at that time when I and another Brit noticed three teenage boys and a couple of young girls were franticly shouting and waving, after watching for only about 1 Min we both realised the kids were being pushed out to sea..we gathered all the males who could understand us and waded out hand in hand until about 12 of us were in the chain, I and the guy next to me let go of the chain and swam to these kids and started to pull them back to reach the willing hands of the chain of mixed Brits and Germans, when the kids were collected and being pulled out of that wonderful looking Sea, then gathered up by petrified parents who had by this time realised the Danger, we, the first two men collecting them in that chain were also struggling to get back so huge was the undertow from the breakers, I have been a strong swimmer all my life, the other guy as well, but the chain of man from the beach had to reform to pull us out of that beauty-full looking Bay of brilliant Blue Adriatic sea..lesson learned the hard way..!! ........ Corfu is still a nice place to go..but the Sea will kill if not treated accordingly..

TWT
26th Aug 2016, 10:19
Well done Peter !

Loose rivets
26th Aug 2016, 21:25
I was keen on tennis when the kids were young, so, reasonably fit but not muscular by any means. Stopping in the pool would see me sink so fast it'd hurt when I hit the bottom.

Word in the area is that they were playing football on one of the sandbars and got cut off by the incoming tide.

But what is the actual process of the disaster? I've a vague image of fast incoming tides that skid the feet out from under and never really allow retreat by foot, but after that I assume it would take a while for the depth to be the only factor.

meadowrun
26th Aug 2016, 23:44
The currents/rips apparently prevented them from reaching land.

abgd
27th Aug 2016, 05:26
I don't know the area, but if you're on a sandbar then by the time the sea reaches you and you realise you're in trouble, the gullies between sandbar and beach are going to be filled with water and may be deep. On very flat beaches you may also need to cover ground very fast in order to escape the rising tide.

sitigeltfel
27th Aug 2016, 05:51
I witnessed something similar on Kinshaldy beach near St Andrews. The outgoing tide cuts channels on the sea floor leaving large stretches of sand surrounded by dry moats. These can be many times the size of football pitches. Some tourists had gone about half a mile out to look at the seals, not realising that when the tide comes back in, the water races into those moats. This turns the sand bars into islands leaving anyone out there stranded. We yelled and waved at the tourists to come back, but they didn't appreciate the danger as all they could see was a flat stretch of beach between them and the shore. Eventually they realised the danger and started running, but the water in the moats was now waist deep. We got them to run further along to where it wasn't so deep and they waded across, some with water up to their chests. This was pre mobile phone days and someone had gone to a nearby cottage to call the coastguard. Shortly afterwards an SAR Wessex from Leuchars was overhead and set down to check on what was happening. Lo and behold, I knew the pilot and was able to brief the crew that all was now OK. Could have turned out very differently!

jetset lady
27th Aug 2016, 06:36
Camber and other beaches in the area also have one other nasty surprise for the unwary. Quicksand.

Hempy
27th Aug 2016, 07:08
R_AePNEmIGs

DirtyProp
27th Aug 2016, 07:58
More like "Eric the Floating Debris".
Head too high, legwork rather ineffective and he was really struggling in the end.

Effluent Man
27th Aug 2016, 08:19
I have never heard of quicksands on this coast. I know they are common on the Morcambe Bay coast. If they are here too then that is something that needs to be addressed. Quicksand can appear normal until a certain level of saturation is reached, then the surface suddenly collapses and can bear very little weight.

Pontius Navigator
27th Aug 2016, 16:14
EM. this coast, do you mean Norfolk?

On the north side of the Wash we have quick sands. The beach is hard compacted clay overlaid with alluvial deposits from the North Sea. This creates a anisotropic layer whose consistency varies by tide and weather. One week we lost a JCB. tractor, and 4x4 crew truck. A tracked Scimitar sank until only the top remained above the surface.

Effluent Man
27th Aug 2016, 16:51
Actually I meant Sussex but I didn't know Norfolk had quicksand either.

Toadstool
27th Aug 2016, 18:18
Reports that the bodies pulled from the water yesterday were black men in their 20's all fully clothed. This looks like an attempt at immigration that went very wrong.

This looks like an attempt at a premature post about immigration that went very wrong:ok:

insty66
27th Aug 2016, 20:48
[QUOTE]Can't imagine not learning to swim as a life basic requirement.../QUOTE]

It's almost as important as learning to cross the road. I read that 2 of them couldn't swim at all.

If I could ask one thing of all parents, please get your kids swimming, none of this 25m badge and quit either, regular swimming covering at least 1K should enable them to have the skills and strength to cope with most situations and they'll be tired and less troublesome when they're done.



This young lady (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_Manuel) gives lie to old stereotypes and probably helps prove it's opportunity and attitude nothing less that held back black swimmers. Now she's made a breakthrough hopefully some of the old "theories" will settle into history and we'll just concentrate on the performance and not the colour of their skin.

Rwy in Sight
28th Aug 2016, 02:18
insty66,

Around the birth of the lady you mentioned I was serving the flag and the state, by being stationed in airbase by the sea on an island. Unfortunately that leave was taken on a boat rather on a C-130H so I had suitable time and noise to discuss with an officer I saw everyday and suggest he makes sure his kids take some swimming course. The base had two lovely beaches after all.

He clearly explained and hold his position that parents would prefer to provide milk for their kids rather than pay for swimming tuition. And that was told at a time money was not tight....

Hempy
28th Aug 2016, 03:47
Swimming is part of the primary school curriculum in Australia where it's available (which is just about everywhere). I don't think I'd know many people who can't swim.

meadowrun
28th Aug 2016, 03:52
Lessons are good if you want to be a really, really good swimmer.
But not necessary.
I taught myself to swim and dive through practice and observation of others.
It's not rocket surgery.

Effluent Man
28th Aug 2016, 07:59
Toadstool,

Indeed, but probably not from the direction you think. My concern is over the individuals behind these immigrant smuggling scams that without doubt are in operation along this stretch of the coast on most days. The boat that broke down and was rescued full of Albanians earlier this summer was almost certainly the odd one out and others have been landing successfully and very lucratively virtually every night.

The winners from these trips are not the people who pay extortionate sums for the hazardous journeys, but the smugglers.

david1300
28th Aug 2016, 09:15
More like "Eric the Floating Debris".
Head too high, legwork rather ineffective and he was really struggling in the end.

Maybe so, but he did win his heat at an Olympic Games, which is more than any poster in this thread has managed. :D:D Credit where credit is due ;)

Unfortunately he wasn't able to reprise his achievement: "Despite lowering his personal best down to under 57 seconds,[7] Moussambani was denied entry into the 2004 Olympic Games due to a visa bungle. He did not take part in the 2008 Summer Olympics. In March 2012 he was appointed coach of the national swimming squad of Equatorial Guinea."

Source (as is often the case) - than fine fo(u)nt of all knowledge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Moussambani

insty66
28th Aug 2016, 09:32
Lessons are good if you want to be a really, really good swimmer.
But not necessary.
I taught myself to swim and dive through practice and observation of others.
It's not rocket surgery.

But it is safer and more efficient, especially if we're talking about children, I think the days of chucking your kid in the deep end and letting them work it out are long gone.

He clearly explained and hold his position that parents would prefer to provide milk for their kids rather than pay for swimming tuition. And that was told at a time money was not tight....

I've heard similar before and find it a shame that parents see swimming as a luxury, it can and does save lives.

This case looks to be a combination of lack of knowledge and respect for the sea combined with a lack of ability to deal with the situation. We can't change the sea but we can and should do a lot about our knowledge and abilities.

abgd
28th Aug 2016, 09:37
Effluentman:

These kids weren't illegal immigrants. As far as I can tell they were nice kids having a game of football on a nice day, who were unfortunately caught out. Their families are devastated as you or I would be if it happened to our children. Sure they had dark skin, but they'd built their lives here - one was studying aeronautical engineering.

I accept there is an important debate to be had around immigration, but hijacking this tragic event to make your point seems in very poor taste to me. If they'd been white kids would you be saying 'Look how they got caught out: it just goes to show what could happen to poor illegal immigrants if they tried to land here?'

Ditto regarding race and swimming. Some of these kids could swim. Some of them couldn't. None of them were of African origin (OK, to be a pedant, all of us are ultimately of African origin) so all these debates about whether Africans are any good at swimming are utterly irrelevant to this event. It's quite an interesting question, but there's got to be a more tactful venue for it.

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2016, 09:43
My oldest grandson reacted against water from his earliest consciousness (when being bathed as a baby).
By the time he was a toddler he had to have a 'shield' to prevent water entering his eyes when his hair was washed.
When he started swimming lessons his progress was extremely slow as he constantly fought against having his face submerged.

Had he fallen in to a river he would not have survived due to fighting immersion - with fear and panic.

No doubt these young men (and many others) were similar candidates for drowning.

Tankertrashnav
28th Aug 2016, 09:45
Much predictable blaming of "the cuts" for these tragedies, because of a lack of lifeguards at Camber sands.

Meanwhile at Fistral Beach at Newquay which does have a lifeguard presence, the BBC were out reporting on families ignoring the flags put out for the safety and entering the water in potentially dangerous areas.

A woman and her children were in the water outside the safe area indicated by flags. When challenged she said the notice only said not to use body boards or swim outside the flagged area, and her children didn't have body boards and were only "jumping up and down in the waves", not swimming. :ugh:

You could have a lifeguard every 100 yards around the coast but you will never legislate against stupidity.

abgd
28th Aug 2016, 09:52
I've heard similar before and find it a shame that parents see swimming as a
luxury, it can and does save lives.


Looking at the evidence for this overnight it seems there's good evidence that swimming lessons save the lives of young children (<4) but little evidence that being able to swim keeps older children and teenagers safe, possibly because people who can swim are more likely to enter the water.

A bit like spin training: the real reason to learn to swim isn't to keep you safe (unless you're a toddler) but because it's fun. Perhaps for older kids, teaching awareness of things like rip tides or sandbars or cramps or tides would actually be more useful. And the fact that swimming in the sea is very different from swimming in a pool.

Some of these men who drowned could swim and some couldn't.

treadigraph
28th Aug 2016, 11:02
Another person reported missing at Camber Sands... (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-37208338)

No, she's turned up!

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2016, 11:12
At the time of the initial tragedy, there were reports of a sixth missing person.

Confusion?

insty66
28th Aug 2016, 11:40
Looking at the evidence for this overnight it seems there's good evidence that swimming lessons save the lives of young children (<4) but little evidence that being able to swim keeps older children and teenagers safe, possibly because people who can swim are more likely to enter the water.

A bit like spin training: the real reason to learn to swim isn't to keep you safe (unless you're a toddler) but because it's fun. Perhaps for older kids, teaching awareness of things like rip tides or sandbars or cramps or tides would actually be more useful. And the fact that swimming in the sea is very different from swimming in a pool.

Some of these men who drowned could swim and some couldn't.

Not sure what the research you looked at but logically if you get into trouble in deep or fast flowing water and can't swim you have fewer tools available to you to help you survive. I agree about knowledge of sandbars or cramps or tides etc. but if you can't do anything about it, it's all of little use.

It is fun, it's also good exercise but the basic skills of swimming are the same no matter where you swim, all the local open water swimmers round here put a lot of miles in in the pool to be able to swim 1500m or 5K Open water events.

abgd
28th Aug 2016, 17:50
Logically speaking you're quite right, but the question is why you'd go into deep or fast flowing water if you can't swim? One answer is 'accidentally', but how many accidents force you into the water unexpectedly?

I was once caught in a current and swept towards some rocks. I only just managed to get back to the beach and I was exhausted. I'm a competent though not excellent swimmer, and this near accident would have never happened had I not got into the water of my own volition. Scenarios such as that are all too common.

Swimming lessons prevent drowning in children under 4:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19255386

However, it's still uncertain whether they make older children safer:

Interventions to Prevent Drowning - Springer (http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-387-29457-5_5#page-2)

http://www.worldconferenceondrowningprevention2011.org/SiteMedia/w3svc1092/Uploads/Documents/WCDP2011_Swim&WS_Hindmarch_p222_Abstract.pdf

etc...

Effluent Man
28th Aug 2016, 19:30
In the news today a cross channel swimmer who successfully completed one swim in 2014 has drowned trying to repeat his feat. Clearly not all non swimmers who are at risk.

DirtyProp
28th Aug 2016, 19:52
Everybody who goes in the sea is at risk.
Water is not our environment, land is. Just because you're a good swimmer doesn't mean you'll never drown. It means that your chances of surviving if the odds turn against you are significantly better than a non-swimmer.

As pilots we are taught that we have to know our environment to make sound decisions. Going for a swim in the ocean is exactly the same.
And again, parents can make a huge difference in the right attitude.

PS: ex-lifeguard on beaches during summer seasons.

Blues&twos
28th Aug 2016, 20:10
The difference between a benign pool environment and open water can be significant. During my first open water training session I had to "rescue" a 16 stone colleague of mine who I could happily have towed up and down the pool for ages. However, the cold, the waves, the current and even the rough banks for landing my "casualty" left me exhausted after only one attempt. And he was being compliant and not thrashing around.