Have you ever swimmed in dangerous rivers? Have you ever felt the power of it? Have you experienced it?
It is almost sad how little awareness people have about how dangerous rivers can be. We definitely lack an education how to behave in dangerous rivers. And because of that, every year we have accidents and people drowning simply because we are lacking proper education. I am sure we can decrease that number simply by bringing more awareness to it.
Being a good swimmer is not enough. I was swimming recreationaly almost every day for 7 years. I have strength, endurance and I can basically be in water for hours floating if I have to. Of course, I was practicing my swimming only in pool. Occasionally I would swim in sea or in lakes… But rivers, specially fast rivers with strong water currents… That is totally differently experience. I had a chance to feel its power and I will never forget such a force.
When you find yourself in strong river currents, you will realize how small you are, how helpless you are…It doesnt matter how strong you are, how good swimmer you are and what kind of endurance you have, it doesnt matter. You cant fight it. River is playing with you however it wants.
Many people make mistakes thinking that they are good swimmers and they underestimate rivers…until river gets a hold of them. It starts throwing you in all directions, on rocks, it pulls you, it pulls you on all sides, it pulls you down, it pulls you down the rocks, in holes, or it pulls you in a blink of eye further with its flow. It pulls you with such a force that you will not know what is happening. It is terror. Especially when you are not prepared and when you dont know what to experience. I remember the first time I jumped into strong and fast current. The second I jumped, I was already dragged few meters by current from the spot I landed in river… And I was dragged by such a force that all my efforts to swim against it were totally useless. Current throwed me on one rock that was on surface only with its top. And I was trying to hold myself to that rock but current was so strong, it was such a force that I couldnt even hold myself..it dragged me only further… And I remember how helpless I felt. Luckily I was able to get on the shore..but around are only rocks and you have to climb on them and they are so slippery.
But thats not only time I had to battle with currents. It happened on several occasions. Flow is very strong and once when you get into it…..
Most dangerous are holes under the rocks… They suck you in. Luckily I wan never in that position but I can imagine it. It is a fight for your life. Question of life and death.
You can be professional swimmer, professional athlete.. You can be an Olympic champion in swimming, believe me, for swimming in dangerous rivers, it is not enough. To swim in dangerous rivers, you need to use your brain. You need to recognize possible threats and dangers, you need to recognize currents, undercurrents, you need to see all the rocks, waterfalls if there are some, possible safe places… You need to predict and envision many things… Plus, you need to have safety gear and couple of friends. But friends that know what they are doing because otherwise it is useless if they dont know how to behave in river.
Swimming in dangerous rivers, you need to use logic… Pure strength and endurance is less important. If you have great endurance, it will only prolong your suffering until you get tired and drown in the end. To swim safely, you need logic and intelligence.
As I became aware of the power of rivers, I started to research it little bit more… I was watching videos of people that are doing extreme kayaking and rafting. They all say that you need to be mentally prepared, recognize dangerous situations and be flexible in the process to avoid those dangers… But even most experienced kayakers say that no matter how much you know and how experienced you are, there are still chances that something unpredictable can happen. It is such a powerful force that it can defeat even most experienced people… Can you imagine then someone who doesnt have any experience, entering such a river? He is naively jumping, thinking it is only water and thinking that they know how to swim and nothing can happen to them.
People are not even aware of dangers. Thats why we have so many people unnecessary drowning. No experience, no awareness, no education… Many people have drown because of that. And there are even more stories where people have been lucky and they survived it.
Point is that people are putting themselves in danger. It is time to bring more awareness to it. By sharing those information, we can maybe save someone life.