My November swim is done and dusted but I got trapped and nearly came a cropper. That’s in spite of being wary in and on the water. I’ve got a healthy respect for the waves, checking weather conditions and sea state before I go for a dip. I’m a little bit concerned with all that 365 swimming going on. Surely safety must be compromised at times in the pursuit of a personal best?
When we kayak we’re just as cautious. We’ve got all the gear, a throw line, buoyancy aids, a water pump, first aid kit and a VHS radio just in case we get into trouble. There seem to be a lot of people out on paddleboards and sit on top kayaks in just shorts. I do worry. Perhaps they should be made to mainline those RNLI rescue programmes. It might be just the wake up call that they need to get serious about water safety.
Sunday was little choppy but nothing to be concerned about. Some women who’d just got out as I arrived said that the water was toasty for the time of year. The seal wasn’t in the cove and that’s a always a bonus. I bobbed around in the waves and spotted something brightly coloured and artificial looking a few yards away. So I decided to be virtuous and retrieve it.
As I got closer I realised that it was a fishing float, a big one. I grabbed it and then felt something entwined around my legs, both of them. I’d become properly trapped in the line attached to it. It took a good fifteen minutes to untangle myself, not a mean feat in moving water. Eventually I got free but not before I had to bite through the fishing line to break loose. Although I say so myself I’m quite a good swimmer. Someone not so competent might have been well panicked.
Here’s the bugger. I brought it home for a photoshoot to accompany the story. And I might just have saved some sea life. For just after I’d got back on shore a cormorant popped up. They often join me on my swims. I spotted him just where the float had been. He might not have been so successful in his attempts to free himself.