29 November 2014
Crisis UK Winter Swim Photos/Video
I saw this tweet from Furzedown Tweets yesterday, whom I follow as they tweet about local events.
— Tooting Daily PRSS (@TootingPRSS) November 28, 2014
I’m not entirely sure why they called this a Mid-Winter swim – as Winter has barely started on the 29th of November – is not even officially Winter yet! But, anyway… This was about raising awareness to homelessness via the medium of very cold water and some very brave and/or insane people. It also gave me the opportunity to take some photos. So this became the plan ‘de jour’, given that the Lido is only a 10 minute walk away.
Turns out that today was a beautiful, mild day. I had to take my coat off! The water, however, didn’t feel warm in any way. Tooting Bec Lido is the biggest fresh water pool in the UK, and by fresh I mean *NOT* heated. I put my hand in it and it felt icy cold. It probably wasn’t, but it felt it!
It was explained, over the tannoy, that people who never swam in cold water before were likely to go into shock, suffer from very shallow breathing and so on, and that if that happened they should raise the alarm as soon as possible. This was pretty much what I experienced years ago when I failed my scuba diving certificate test after I had a major shallow breathing attack when trying to submerge in 10c water. I had to give up.
At noon everyone lined up on one side of the 90mx30m pool and jumped in. There were lots people screaming because of the cold water, but everyone did at least one width (30m width, rather than 90m length). The pool emptied out slowly, and then there was one woman left in the pool – the winner if you will. Then the winner(s) of the best outfit were announced and then we left!
This is a video of when everyone jumped in:
These ^ Photos on Flickr