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Last Updated Wednesday July 26 2017 10:12 AM IST

Can swimming pool training keep you afloat on rivers? Experts answer

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If one could stay afloat without panicking and give some time to know the waters, then proper pool training is enough to beat the current of a river, say experts.

Former swimming coach of Services K. Sajikumar vouched for pool training but with a caution: “if it's done properly and if one can stay without panicking." Meanwhile, P. Charlson, who had won the award for best life guard twice, warned those trained in pools not to dive into a river like how one would go into a swimming pool.

Tips for good swimming pool training from Sajikumar:

» It's not proper for coaches to lend hand-support to the learner. One should be trained to stay on in the water, supported only by the water.

Also check: Summer vacations: how death doubles in waters and how to avoid it

» It's not correct to keep the head high while swimming. The head and other parts of the body should float parallel in the water. Greater energy is demanded when the head is held high. That causes exhaustion and risks drowning. But if the head and other parts are underwater and are parallel, water supports the body weight and helps to preserve energy.

» Breathing should be done through the mouth rather than the nose. That helps with better inhalation.

Why pool sharks fail in open water

Those trained only in a pool risk drowning in river when they miss to read the distance and current, said Charlson.

According to him, training in a pond helps a person to swim a maximum distance of 15 meter. One should never measure the distance in water the way one does on shore. And one should not enter the water considering only the distance to one side alone. It is essential to consider whether one can swim the distance back in the current.

Some more precautions

» Children should be trained under good coaches.

» Wear dress that would not hinder a bid escape in case one gets into trouble in water.

» Don't rush into the water. It risks getting stuck in mud. There is also the risk of hitting your head on a rock or a tree branch. Get in slowly, measuring the current and the depth.

» Never enter the waters after dark.

» Keep off the waters if you are sick, or are on some medication, or if you have consumed alcohol.

» Extra caution should be taken in case children have illnesses like epilepsy or heart ailment, which can worsen in the waters.

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