SAFETY TIP FOR SEA SWIMMERS AND DIPPERS
In my Swim Through Darkness, I use these whistles to communicate with my support team when I'm among the surf. Some nights the surf is too wild to hear them but most times it can be heard and is a great way for my crew to quickly know I'm ok. I use lots of other things including radio but I find people don't take safety advice onboard for the most part, especially if it is expensive on the pocket, so I singled out the whistle to write about as I thought this inexpensive tip might be something dippers and paddle boarders might do. I also find that when my hands are frozen, the sea is rough and dark, using the radio and other things is more difficult than the whistle.
I have been surfing for decades and I have witnessed the rises and falls in the popularity of surfing in particular, then paddle boarding and now "dipping". Besides the core crews that have always done all of these activities before they became popular, there are a lot of people in particular on paddle boards and dipping that have very limited sea experience.
This is just a small tip in particular directed at inexperienced water users but its useful for everyone. This orange thing is a safety whistle. They are very cheap to buy but they are a great addition to kit. There are lots of benefits to these as I'm sure you can imagine. I cant recommend one over another but the ones I use are only a couple of quid and come with a lanyard.
NOTE. I choose to replace the lanyard with string. The reason being that as much as I want to remain connected to the whistle, I also want to be able to break away from it if for some reason it got stuck around something or my neck! How you choose to attach it is up to you depending on what you are doing or wearing.
I attach mine to my zipper and then tuck it into my hood so its not swinging loose in the surf. I recently bought ten as I tend to lose them in the dark. I have some simple rules when using a whistle or any safety tools for that matter so that they are only used for specific reasons and at specific times.
You can get them online and some outdoor shops carry them.
Note this is not the only piece of equipment you could consider but it is something that could be incorporated as part of a safety kit.