Anyone swimming in open water faces risk. Surprisingly one of the most dangerous activities we engage in, provide facilities for and openly encourage is driving. Each of us runs a 1/9,600 risk of dying in a road accident each year (Environmental Health October 1992 p 295). In an assessment of the risks posed to swimmers by Weil’s disease Dr Robin Philip reported in the same article that statistically regular open water swimmers are less at risk of the disease than are the general population.
Of course someone could drown, yet that does not stop us letting adults and children swim unsupervised at the seaside. What then is so different about swimming in canals, rivers and lakes?
Read the 2,000 year history of wild swimming and discover why the swimmer has been Hung Out to Dry.