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River Swimming

(70 Posts)
Onthedancefloor Sat 13-Jun-20 23:48:45

DS was out with his friends today, they meet up out on their bikes. They are all 13-14. DS told me that they'd been swimming in the river. They are all strong swimmers, most of them have swum in competitions. However my instinct is to say they shouldn't be swimming in the river at all, as we don't know what the currents are like, or what debris they could get caught on.

I'm really torn, as I love swimming in the sea and lakes, following precautions though, like staying within your depth, having other people around in case you get in difficulties.

My instinct is to say that they shouldn't be swimming, but not sure whether I'm being a killjoy.

heartsonacake Sat 13-Jun-20 23:50:44

YANBU. Fuck worrying about being a killjoy; keep your son safe and tell him no. If he doesn’t listen, you don’t let him out.

AllsortsofAwkward Sat 13-Jun-20 23:54:06

Yanbu theres such a thing as deep water shock not to mention nasty bacteria in the water and of course the currents.

YeOldeTrout Sat 13-Jun-20 23:56:54

Depends on the river, doesn't it? Some are scary deep, fast-flowing & cold. Others are sluggish, muddy & shallow. Some are thronged with motor boats & others are very quiet. I have seen a lot of river swimmers recently where I live (East Anglia). Shallow & muddy is the rule here.

SignOnTheWindow Sat 13-Jun-20 23:57:04

Teens often don't have a particularly well developed sense of risk. If I were you, I'd definitely forbid him to swim in the river without you nearby. You're obviously a wild swimmer and so know how dangerous it can be.

AllsortsofAwkward Sat 13-Jun-20 23:59:41

I'm a swimming teacher op it's actually drowning prevention week this week 12-19th June. It's something I would discourage swimming in rivers and lakes that are not safe. An ex bf of my mine came too close to a river when he was 20 and had bit too drink, they found his body 11 days later.

DramaAlpaca Sun 14-Jun-20 00:02:03

I made it very clear to my boys at that age that they were not to swim in our local river and that if any of them did I'd be grounding them for the summer.

Several teens have drowned around here over the last few years, it's just not safe.

Frozenfan2019 Sun 14-Jun-20 00:05:32

I live near a lake. In my lifetime 3 boys have died from.swimming in that lake. The reasons are varied but also not varied At all i.e. Young boy, wants to impress parents etc.

Onthedancefloor Sun 14-Jun-20 00:06:35

It is the River Mersey, near Manchester. DS said his friends were properly swimming and they wouldn't have been able to stand up, but he stayed at the edge as he didn't want to get too wet.

I love that they were out enjoying themselves in the outdoors but was quite shocked that they were properly swimming in the river. I think I will have a proper conversation with him tomorrow.

My grandparents lived on the coast and I absolutely loved going in the sea at every opportunity when we were visiting. There were very strict rules about when this could take place. I could hear my late Dad telling me off when DS was describing what they'd done. I guess I need to set down similar rules for my children, even though we don't live somewhere I thought this would apply so much.

BashStreetKid Sun 14-Jun-20 00:07:50

I'd worry about Weil's disease.

SunnySummerDays Sun 14-Jun-20 00:08:43

To be honest mine always have. The youngest is ferral. I just say never on your own, take a phone. And a friend. The parts they go aren’t that deep. He’s 17 now, been doing it since young so I just let him get on with it! We took the dog a walk to the river the other day and he had to get in then with the dog.... can’t stop himself!

nutkin7 Sun 14-Jun-20 00:08:51

I love the river Mersey but I would never swim in it. Which bit of the Mersey is it? I'm near the bit in didsbury but it's so fast flowing that I would never even dream of getting in. If they want to go open water swimming there's plenty of safer places nearby!

AllsortsofAwkward Sun 14-Jun-20 00:09:39

700 people die unnecessary every year from drowning which could be prevented. Especially young lads or lasses messing about can easily find themselves in a scary situation.

PurpleMystery Sun 14-Jun-20 00:25:37

Well the difficulty you’ve got at the moment is there’s very little they are allowed to do isn’t there. They can’t go to the gym or swimming pool or the cinema or shops. They can’t even go to school. So I actually think they must be very lovely boys because they’ve found a way to do something they love within the rules and it’s not drinking or smoking or causing chaos. But Yanbu to be concerned about safety. Could you suggest somewhere safer for them to swim next time or maybe you take some precautions and have an adult present?

sparkli Sun 14-Jun-20 00:29:01

When I was 14 a boy in my class drowned after he got into difficulties swimming in a river. Another boy almost died trying to save him.

CherryPavlova Sun 14-Jun-20 00:32:51

Depends on the river. Swimming in some rivers is fantastic. The Dart is wonderful. Bits of the Thames are OK. The Avon has some pleasant spots.Theres good river swimming in the Derwent too.
I don’t know the Mersey as a swimming spot but it would depend on flow and currents, access, depth and their knowledge. We have often swam in rivers very safely.

BackforGood Sun 14-Jun-20 00:36:24

All my 3 (adult) dc are lifeguards.
There is no way they would swim in the River Mersey.
Obviously they are all strong swimmers, to have qualified, and be constantly reviewed as lifeguards, but they understand about factual things like cold water shock syndrome. Not to say tides, disease, and - on a river like the Mersey - an awful lot of shipping

Please look up some facts about it - it is drowning prevention week so there should be a lot to find.
People drown every year because they don't understand the risks, not because they can't swim.

QualityFeet Sun 14-Jun-20 00:41:50

Wtf no - just no.
Even amazing swimmers drown in unpredictable rivers and especially boys in that age group.

NCagainwhenwhenwhen Sun 14-Jun-20 00:44:50

So hard to know. The Mersey sounds huge and potentially dangerous, are there any little rivers elsewhere they could use? We have a lovely place near here with a slow flowing river where everyone swims, but I'm not sure I'd want my DCs (12) swimming there if I wasn't around. Luckily it's a few miles away so we need to drive there.

DS has started cycling about with his friends and wants to swim in a local pool which isn't very big and is fed by a stream either end so no currents etc. It's in the shade and freezing, but probably not even deep enough in the middle for them to be out of their depth (hard to tell). He's desperate to go there with his friends (and not me!) when it warms up again - but I am really struggling. He's an excellent strong swimmer, and it's not deep - but what if the cold put one of them into shock, or what if they slipped and cracked their head on a stone? I think it's much safer than the Mersey, but I am still terrified.

Sorry OP - no right answer, and we do need to let our lads grow up, but it will always be scary. Can you talk to the river authorities to find out more about the safety of that stretch of river? Or as I said, find somewhere else? Good luck!


MrsEricBana Sun 14-Jun-20 00:46:15

No. Drowning risk is too great. 2 years ago dd was the most ill she has ever been after contracting some sort of illness from river swimming.

TheEmpressMatilda Sun 14-Jun-20 00:46:16

Do research to find safe local wild swimming spots.

MrsEricBana Sun 14-Jun-20 00:47:02

(Not just sick, properly ill, medical care required etc)

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 14-Jun-20 00:56:07

So totally genuine post. Over the past couple of years we've had short breaks in Zurich and Basel, where there's a massive culture of river swimming. We didn't see it first hand in Basel because we visited in December, but Zurich in summer - basically the thing to do is go for coffee up river, then swim back down. Our hotel had complimentary wet-bags that you could take out with you to wrap your clothes in, then you used them as floats to swim back home.

So why are we all so scared of swimming in rivers here? These are proper, deep, fast flowing rivers I'm talking about, without banks for most of the city by the way.

MrsEricBana Sun 14-Jun-20 01:10:15

That's really interesting about Zurich, just googled it.

Nartl0ngNow Sun 14-Jun-20 01:17:14

If you can't see the bottom then you don't go in. You don't know how many people have thrown bottles and tins etc into the river.

If you can see the bottom and confident you won't find a small family of supermarket trolleys trying to weigh you down, then there should always be one person on the river bank and you should know where the life ring is/how to get help without getting into the water.

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