CAVE SWIMMING SKILLS
There are always risks while caving especially river caves. The following skills are useful for swimming in caves.
- Keep watching the current. Strong current means danger! You should not try to access caves with strong current.
- Should not swim with the current into the caves because you may lose your control. There may be dangerous drops in caves. Try to access the river caves with different directions against the water current to put yourself in control.
- Warm up before swimming into cave. The water temperature in the cave is very cold, it’s about 12 degrees. Warming up is a must to avoid from cramps.
- Get used to the water temperature before swimming to avoid from temperature shock. Normally, you will be trekking for a long distance before getting to caves, your body temperature will be high. Therefore, temperature shock is easy to happen. You should start putting your feet and hands into the water, washing your face to low down your body temperature.
- Use your hand to move while swimming. There are rocks or trees underneath the water. So don’t move your legs a lot as you may hit rocks or trees. Swim slowly and rest if you are tired.
- Change your position frequently while swimming especially in a long river cave. Changing your position will make you feel comfortable and avoid from scamps as well.
- SAFETY GEARS: Critically important!!! Even you are the best swimmers. Always wear safety gears while swimming. Lifejacket, helmet, head torch, gloves will be useful when you are swimming in the darkness. In case you have a backpack with you, please use a waterproof bag to save all your belongings and make it easy to swim with. Also, bring a floating rope with you in case of recue is involved.
- Never swim alone in a cave. Always swim in a group or at least a pair. Make sure that you can see others while swimming in cave.
Have a great and safe adventure!