Water Phobias: Coming Over Your Fear of Water

Water Phobias: Coming Over Your Fear of Water

This blog on overcoming your fear of water is courtesy of Jeff Krieger, owner of SOAP: Strategies to Overcome Aquatic Phobias. Learn more at waterphobias.com Overcoming a fear of water differs from learning how to swim Quite often a mistake is made by both aquatic professionals and people who are looking to achieve specific aquatic goals.  There is a significant  difference between helping a person, regardless of their age, fitness level or life experience, overcome varying degrees of fear surrounding water, which is actually a fear of drowning, and teaching any person who is not suffering from that same fear, how to swim. The process and skill sets that are required to meet the needs of both populations are vastly different. Many people assume that an “experienced” swim instructor should be able to help a person overcome their fear of water, by teaching them the “nuts and bolts” of floating, gliding, treading and stroke development. After all, it does make some sense that once a person learns how to swim, that they should no longer remain fearful in water. The problem with that logic is twofold; first, is that many  learn to swim instructors wfill never even get the opportunity to meet and help those fearful of water, because many in that diverse population will never participate in their traditional swim programs as a result of their fears. Secondly, most often, if and when they do find the courage as adults or are forced to by well meaning parents to take swim lessons, quit because they begin to feel more fearful, angry, frustrated, disappointed, embarrassed and isolated than they...
RowSafeUSA: Cold Water Safety

RowSafeUSA: Cold Water Safety

This blog on cold water safety courtesy of Marc Messing who runs RowSafeUSA.org Northwestern University Rower’s Death A Northwestern University rower has drowned after falling into the waters of the Chicago River North Channel without a lifejacket. Reports say that the water was cold and swift-moving. The rower, Mohammed Ramzan of Auburn, Washington, was a nineteen year old freshman rowing with Northwestern University’s (club) crew team when he fell into the water. He apparently never surfaced in the murky, cold, moving water. A coach and one other person dove into the water in an attempt to rescue him, but were unsuccessful. Both rescuers were later hospitalized along with a firefighter who was hospitalized for routine decontamination after exposure to the river water. Rowing deaths are rare on warm water and under safe conditions, but more common in the life-threatening temperatures of cold water. Following Mohammed Ramzan’s death it is appropriate to review the particular dangers of cold water as discussed in USRowing’s 2007 safety video: cold water is, the video explains, “extremely dangerous when below 50 degrees” “the initial cold shock from falling into cold water provokes an immediate gasp reflex of up to two to three quarts of air, or water if your head is submerged” breathing and heart rates accelerate swimming failure can set in after only three minutes “cold water can quickly numb the extremities to the point of uselessness” “within minutes, severe pain clouds rational thought” It is also appropriate to review the guidance offered in January, 2015, apparently directed primarily to scullers: “uncontrolled shivering, disorientation and impaired judgment start to occur before exhaustion or unconsciousness.” someone in a launch “can throw...