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at best, i can trash along for about five metres, and then i have to stop for a breath and support from a rail. i can't seem to get the hang of it, despite numerous lessons with schools over the years. yeah, so i can hang on to a foam board and kick, and blow bubbles in the water on the way. but that wouldn't really help me if i ever fell overboard...

BowsAndBones BowsAndBones 16-17, F 2 Responses Jul 24, 2007

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But how do i get my face above the surface when I've jumped/fallen into the water and end up below the surface?

treading water isn't the easiest thing in the world. When swimming I tend to pop up, get my breathe, then go back under water. I can't keep my head above water at all times by any means. If you are worried about what to do if you need to stay above water, practice floating on your back. Its the easiest to stay up that way.

I gather that during the Korean War the USAF devised a technique to help downed airmen to survive in the sea. It involves a form of water-treading in which you spend mots of the time floating upright but totally submerged, a foot or so down, coming up for air at regular intervals.

Anyone unable to swim has my sympathy and empathy. I cannot swim because I cannot float - just no buoyancy.