Due to the quick thinking and open water swim training supplied by one of our partners, Making Waves Together, a potential tragedy was avoided in Plymouth Sound recently.

Swimmers, Anna and Sara, assisted another swimmer who was in difficulty safely ashore, called the emergency services and on attendance by South West Ambulance Service the casualty was treated for hypothermia.

The two project swimming mums used their swimming float in the rescue which had been kindly donated by the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners just the week before. As well as managing to keep calm the two ladies put into place the skills and techniques that they, and the rest of the project members, have been learning weekly during open water swimming sessions held at Firestone Bay with ACE Swimming.

Cold water shock and hypothermia are real issues that can be faced by open water swimmers, sailors, paddlers and those who unwittingly end up in the water, due to the water and air temperature.

In light of the incident, the Making Waves Together project team ran a session on the signs and symptoms of cold water shock and hypothermia, looking at the actions to take if someone is identified as being in trouble in the water and how best to avoid tragedy occurring.

This isn’t the first time that participants of the Making Waves Together initiative have used their new found water skills; this summer Kandas Dougouno inspired the people of Plymouth with his determination to learn how to swim so he and his ten year old daughter Fatima could enjoy kayaking together at the Mount Batten Watersports & Activities Centre here in Britain’s Ocean City.

Kandas Making Waves Together

Kandas and Fatima enjoying a kayaking session with Making Waves Together at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre

On seeing Kandas’ story, Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Ocean and who this year was the first person to swim under the Antarctic ice sheet, tweeted “this brings a big smile to my face!!!.”