Surviving Flood Waters – How to learn the swimming lessons to cope up!!

Flood waters catch people off guard regularly. One moment your safe then suddenly your swept away, caught up in the current, panic, indecision sets in. Fight and you can tire out quickly, float passively you will likely get in a deadly situation. The best way to survive flood water is to avoid flood water. Don’t make the common mistake of trying to drive through water ESPECIALLY flowing water. Water across the road can be deeper than it appears and a small amount of current carries a lot of force behind it and can easily sweep your car away. Look at where you live. Do you live close to a creek or river? Do you live in a low lying area, below a dam, or behind a levy wall? How big is the water shed upstream of your house? If you don’t know discuss it with your neighbors, study maps of your area, ask your local civil engineer. Come up with an evacuation plan to higher ground if you know a hard rain is coming. Careful planning is no guarantee that you won’t get caught in a flood so a little advice on how to swim whitewater can save your life.

Remember the first time you stepped into the ocean? A wave sweeps you off your feet and sends you tumbling along you’ve learned a lesson about the power of water. Surfers easily navigate violent water because they are familiar with breaking surf. They anticipate what’s coming next and react to the situation before it arrives, this is how you navigate chaos. Swimming a whitewater river is a similar situation you’ve got strong current, recirculating currents, hazardous obstructions to avoid. With the right knowledge you can come through these dangers without a scratch in fact many people swim whitewater for fun. I’ve been rafting whitewater rivers for more than a decade, I’ve swam flood waters this advice is food for thought based on my and others experiences.

Staying afloat in current is much more difficult than in still water for several reasons. Flowing water pours over objects pushing whatever’s in that water under the surface. When water flows aggressively it acquires air bubbles making it less dense causing objects to lose buoyancy. Flotation is critical in violent water otherwise your likely to get drug across the bottom while all your fighting to get your head above the surface wears you out. If you can acquire any flotation while swimming do it the more flotation the better preferably something inflated or foamy. Clinging to something hard like a log can be dangerous if you slam into something you don’t want to get crushed between a log and a rock. Debris in the water is common in a flood. Try to swim away from large heavy objects because they can be dangerous in churning chaotic water.

Thirty seconds of violent current can leave you exhausted so don’t fight needlessly. Make any moves you make count. The most effective way to swim is across the current. Like in a rip current at the beach people who fight to get directly back to the beach will only get swept out to sea exhausted, swim along the beach across the current to exit the rip current then swim to the beach. If you see a safe place to swim to ahead of you start swimming toward it before you get to it instead of when your beside it or you’ll miss it. Swimming face down stream is the worst idea because you don’t want to face plant any objects downstream. The downstream swim position is recommended if you are in shallow fast water and can’t manage to swim you have to ride it out, get on your back feet first. Keep your feet above water and keep them together-you don’t want to romance the stone.

Do not try to stand up in fast water your much safe on the surface. Your foot could get caught under a rock (this is called foot entrapment and is very dangerous) then the current pushes you over breaking your leg and leaving you stuck face down underwater. If the bottom is gravelly or sandy it’s probably OK to try to stand up because the current is not to bad. Trees in water are also very dangerous they are called strainers. If you see you are coming up on a tree in the water swim away from it because if you wrap around an object in the current it can be impossible to get unpinned. Behind objects is a relatively safe place to be because they shield you from the current in fact the water will be flowing upstream gently behind an object in the current.

Recirculating current aka a rapid, a hole, a hydraulic comes in a variety of shapes and sizes everyone is different. Some will keep you, rolling you over and over, never letting up for air these are called terminal hydraulics and are deadly. Pour overs are small water falls and will stuff you deep even with flotation on. Holes are hard to see from upstream so are hard to avoid but should be avoided if possible. There is much advice on how to get out of a hole – ball up, swim out the side, reach out your hand to catch the downstream current. Advice is hard to give giving the huge variety of holes. If your getting recirculated wait until your out on the boil line, this is the most downstream a hole will let you get until it pulls you back in. Once your on the outer swing of being recirculated this is the time to “bust a move” swim aggressively to escape the hole if possible.

To recap the main points:

Ride out a swim if you have to, save your strength for when you can make an effective move. Steer clear of Debris in the water. Look ahead react to an upcoming danger like a hole or strainer as soon as possible. Swimming across the current is the most effective direction to swim. Start swimming toward a safe place as soon as possible like behind an object or calm water near the shore. The swimming lessons for adults singapore will help the adults in coping up with the excessive water situation. Along with their help, the life of other people will be saved. 



Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.