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Another apnea pool death at a YMCA

neurodoc

Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2010
331
212
83
Arkansas USA
I was saddened to read of another swimmer dying while attempting a DYN (type) of swim, and am sharing it so that others will be aware of it. The person who drowned was not a freediver it seems, but a collegiate swimmer. He was attempting to swim "4 laps" after a 4000 yard swim workout. My son is a competitive swimmer and I'm a judge, so I've watched a great deal of it and many workouts. The article doesn't state if the pool was 25 yd or 50m, though logic would say it's probably 25 yard. I haven't looked it up yet. The fact that the swimmer was attempting a swim indicates that he notified the others he was with of what he was going to do. The fact that he drowned suggests that they did not know what to do when he blacked out. This translates to a probably 200 yard attempt, unless "laps" meant "lengths" which non-swimmers frequently get confused. That would be respectable with a monofin, without the 4000 yard workout. In any case, many people will likely tag this as an apnea accident and perhaps a freediving accident, though it highlights all the things we already know about how not to do it. One of the local YMCA's has prominent signage saying that it is forbidden to hold your breath underwater, though the one I swim in does not and hasn't yet said anything about my occasional 25 or 50 yard underwater swims. Perhaps we should all be familiar with the case to be prepared with talking points. Certainly I hope to be in case I have to talk about it with the local Y. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/12/2...in-pool-mishap-on-vacation.html?intcmp=hplnws
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,966
757
218
70
Sarasota, Fla
That pool can be set up for 25 yards or 50 meters, don't know which he was attempting, but probably 100 yards. No spotter, just plain ignorant or stupid. But that doesn't matter to many pool managers, nor does explaining what is safe. I expect to see this affect my pool workouts.
 

neurodoc

Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2010
331
212
83
Arkansas USA
Yes, I think it was probably 100 yards. I read a couple of other news articles about the same event, and someone interviewed said 4 laps or 100 yards (confusing lengths for laps apparently). Such a shame really, when it's so easily prevented. I see organization's fear of apnea as one of the causes of the tragedy though. It reminds me of some of the African-Americans I knew back in Arkansas, whose attitude was to never let their kids near water until they knew how to swim-that was exactly what several said, not stereotyping. Of course, drownings are more common in the AA community (at one point it was estimated 70% could not swim), something that Cullen Jones has taken on as a project. The same thing applies to apnea; coaches and pool managers (and maybe the Y) are afraid of it so they don't want anyone doing it. Instead, if they taught people how to do it safely and when not to do it, and taught lifeguards how to watch apnea and rescue SWB, it would save lives. Does that make sense to you? I'm preparing talking points in my mind, as many people know I swim underwater and I may have to defend my right to do so.
 
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