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mawius
July 3rd, 2009, 12:24 AM
Hi guys!
Does anyone swim at night in open water?
Sometimes I swim at night or at dusk in the lake. I donít care if itís day or night, Iím not scared of darkness, but Iím sometimes scared of boats that ride preeeeetty fastÖ I worry that someone might not see me swimming and ride over meÖ:afraid::toohurt:
Does anyone have tips how to stay safe?

I made a research and found few lights that might help make myself visible for others on the lake :whiteflag:.
First one is safe light by Petzl. I could strap that light to my hands. You can look at it here: http://www.night-gear.com/-strse-407/safety-light%2C-signal-light%2C/Detail.bok (http://www.night-gear.com/-strse-407/safety-light%2C-signal-light%2C/Detail.bok) . Itís waterproof to 3 feet.
Second one is a headlamp by Petzl (Petzl eLite). Itís a waterproof headlamp that can work as a flashlight and as an emergency light. It looks pretty cool. You can look at it here: http://www.night-gear.com/p/Emergency-Lights/265/eLite-by-Petzl.htm (http://www.night-gear.com/p/Emergency-Lights/265/eLite-by-Petzl.htm) . It's also waterproof to 3 feet.
And the last one is a scuba strobe, or emergency strobe. I think this one might work really well, but Iím not sure if there any restrictions in using light like that in non-emergency situations. Does anyone know about this????? You can look at that strobe and how it works in youtube here: [FONT=Calibri]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVt4aN0B2oc&feature=related[/FON"]YouTube - Scuba strobe test
Any suggestions will be appreciated!

P.S. Iím not trying to advertise any products or websites. Iím only looking for answers and maybe my post also will help someone who has the same problem as I do.

Rykno
July 3rd, 2009, 04:06 PM
you could also get a pack of glow sticks and attach one to each wrist and the back of you head. green or yellow.

mawius
July 3rd, 2009, 04:54 PM
you could also get a pack of glow sticks and attach one to each wrist and the back of you head. green or yellow.
But then I will have to buy glow sticks all the time, and they are not that visible from far away.

rtodd
July 3rd, 2009, 09:39 PM
swimming alone.............unsafe.

dusk......................sharks.

night....................can't see where you are going.

chaos
July 3rd, 2009, 09:49 PM
swim with a kayaker and get a deck-mount beacon. pin a glow stick to the back of your suit. lights will attract some sea life (so will glow sticks)

jim thornton
July 3rd, 2009, 09:51 PM
You only live once.

I think a lake is probably pretty safe, though drunken yahoos that speed around in the darkness are probably not watching where they are going, regardless of lights. If anything, it might increase your danger exposure. I can hear Billy Bob saying, "Hell, what the hell is that? You see them lights o'er thar? I betcha it's a UFO. Bubba, drive the Evinrude over for a looksee, but go real fast in case them aliens are thinking of probin'."

I say:



Acquaint yourself with photos of propellered manatees, that is to say, manatees that have been hit by propellers, not rigged up with them (though god knows the sluggish bastards could use the help.)
Use the adrenaline generated from such pictures to keep your wits about you. At the sound of an approaching cigarette boat, be prepared to dive deep and stay down there till the noise passes.
Under no circumstances wear a swimming costume that in any way makes you look like a baby duck. Muskies, the legendary freshwater barracudas of the north land, love baby ducks. You are better off being a propellered manatee than a muskied baby duck.

By following the above sensible and commonsense precautions, I feel certain you will be safe. The one other thing you could add is to drink heavily before the swim. They say that drunks and babies usually survive collisions because they are too loose to tense up and get hurt. I can't swear being drunk will help you in a run-in with a propeller or muskie, but I am virtually certain it couldn't hurt.

Lump
July 3rd, 2009, 09:59 PM
dusk......................sharks.



Yeah, LOTS of sharks hang out in Wisconsin! :agree:

FindingMyInnerFish
July 3rd, 2009, 10:16 PM
Yeah, LOTS of sharks hang out in Wisconsin! :agree:

Now it's true you won't find sharks in lakes--except maybe saltwater lakes fed from the ocean which isn't anywhere near Wisconsin... but you'd better believe any shark tough enough to swim that far into fresh water is one tough fish--so if you see a shark in Wisconsin, be afraid... be very afraid. :bolt:

I'd be more concerned about variants of the Loch Ness Monster, though....

...

Kidding aside, are there less well-traveled sections of the lake in question or times when traffic is pretty light? I'm with the suggestion to have someone kayak with you. Probably the person kayaking shouldn't be drunk. ;)

chaos
July 3rd, 2009, 10:23 PM
Yeah, LOTS of sharks hang out in Wisconsin! :agree:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_shark

not sure any have made it to wisconsin, but......

Lump
July 4th, 2009, 12:44 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_shark

not sure any have made it to wisconsin, but......

Yeah, I know about the Bulls, but I don't think they make it quite that far.:D

mawius
July 4th, 2009, 01:19 AM
Originally Posted by rtodd
dusk......................sharks.



Yeah, LOTS of sharks hang out in Wisconsin! :agree:

:D:D You guys are all funny :D:D



Kidding aside, are there less well-traveled sections of the lake in question or times when traffic is pretty light? I'm with the suggestion to have someone kayak with you. Probably the person kayaking shouldn't be drunk.

I swim along the shore line. And there is not that much traffic there, especially at night. But... you don't need much... one is enough :drown: :afraid::violin:
Kayaker sounds good, but I donít have anybody who would kayak with me at midnight :badday:. Plus Iím not sure that kayaker will help in case of ďdrunken yahoosĒ :).

I just ordered scuba strobe light. Will see how that will work. If it will not be enough, then I will buy something else.

stillwater
July 4th, 2009, 01:50 PM
I don't think that activity is safe.

You'll probably have the cops called when some do-gooder sees your strobe.

mawius
July 4th, 2009, 03:04 PM
I don't think that activity is safe.
There are not that many safe activities nowadays...
Skydiving is not very safe too, but I've done it :).
Life is short :). I'm just trying not to make it shorter :).



You'll probably have the cops called when some do-gooder sees your strobe

Not my problem :). That's why we have cops, to keep everyone safe :).

ViveBene
July 4th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Why persist in an activity that is dangerous? Of course, boaters and others will be attracted to a light and want to find out what it is, especially if it is in boating waters. You are much safer, but not safe, at dawn.

mawius
July 4th, 2009, 03:23 PM
Why persist in an activity that is dangerous? Of course, boaters and others will be attracted to a light and want to find out what it is, especially if it is in boating waters. You are much safer, but not safe, at dawn.

Iím not planning to swim much at night, but occasionally I do. In summer I swim mostly during the day, but in autumn days are short and daylight turns to dusk and night quickly.

jim thornton
July 4th, 2009, 04:50 PM
Is this in one of those twin lakes that surround the town of Madison? Surely there are no-wake zones where boats are not allowed to roar about at top speed. Maybe you could find quasi-protected areas and confine your swims to these.

I am of the school of thought that we really are much too namby pamby in our modern culture. There are things that are truly dangerous (smoking, driving a motorcyle without a helmet after a twelve-pack, and so forth), and then there are things that are, at best, illusorily dangerous, like swimming at night in a lake.

Not everybody, but many of us, like to get a bit of thrill out of life, and I say go for it. I once did a story for National Geographic Adventure which involved me putting this electrocution device on my back, an alleged shark repellant, then swimming through a knot of sharks into whose swirling midst buckets of baracuda heads and alewife torsos were being ladled into the Bimini reef waters by graduate students from a boat. Nothing bad happened other than full body shocks from the protective device (it was supposed to be strapped onto a scuba tank, which I didn't have, so I just strapped it on my back.)

The night before, we went out to sample and tag and release sharks caught on long lines. The only one we found was a little tiger shark, which can sometimes be aggressive. I got in the water with him, and the waves were bumping my favorite body parts close to his partially tethered jaws, and I just say it was a little frightening even though I knew I was safe.

So I asked the professor who was conducting all the research to kill the lights, and for 20 seconds, I was in the pitch black Bahamian night waters near to a little tiger shark, the two of us being bounced around in the waves and chop, and to this day, the zero at the bone I felt during these 20 seconds is one of the most exhilarating sensations of my life.

Forget lights. Just swim at night. You'll probably be okay. The probably here is key. As Edmund Burke put it, "Everything is sweetened by risk."

ourswimmer
July 4th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Why persist in an activity that is dangerous?

Maybe s/he is hoping for a Darwin award.

stillwater
July 4th, 2009, 05:02 PM
"Everything is sweetened by risk."


It would look good on a tombstone.

jim thornton
July 4th, 2009, 05:09 PM
It would look good on a tombstone.

Touche!

However, I would rather have this on my grave than "Herein Lies a Life-Long Pamby".

mawius
July 4th, 2009, 06:11 PM
Is this in one of those twin lakes that surround the town of Madison?

Yes, it's a lake Mendota.



Surely there are no-wake zones where boats are not allowed to roar about at top speed. Maybe you could find quasi-protected areas and confine your swims to these.


Right now I live on a lake, so I swim along the shore from the house that I live in.


Forget lights. Just swim at night. You'll probably be okay.


I don't think that activity is safe.


Why persist in an activity that is dangerous?

You know... it's actually might be even more dangerous swimming during the day than at night... At night there is only occasionally a boat riding nearby. But during the day there are way more boats and they ride during the day much faster.
SoÖ the safest way would be not to swim in open water at all! But thatís the only swimming opportunity that I have. If I will not swim in the lake, I will not swim at allÖ