Second Class Reqiurement 7:
- Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim.
- Demonstrate your ability to jump feet first into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place.
- Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.
I wish I’d looked at this sooner. Now I have to go swimming in October.
This afternoon I called a family friend who has a pool. When I asked if I could come over and jump in for a bit, she said it was fine, but asked if I was sure. “It’s really cold!” she said. Yes, even in Las Vegas, pools get cold in October.
I picked my son up from school this afternoon and told him that we were going to make a quick stop to work on one of my Scout activities. His main reaction was that he wanted to dunk his head in the pool.
First, I did requirements a and c, which did not make me get in the water. Yet. I summarized the handbook’s rules for safe swimming and demonstrated how to rescue a swimmer in trouble.
Then it was show time. I regret now just how long I stood at the edge of the pool and hesitated before jumping in. I was pretty afraid of the cold.
Finally I did. The cold didn’t hit me until I broke back up to the surface. I swam the length of the pool and back with a loud gasp from the chill every time I took a breath.
I figure if I’m going to follow in the footsteps of Boy Scouts as much as possible, I should probably get used to occasionally getting into very cold water. It actually felt a lot better as soon as I got out. In fact, mostly to make up for my sad hesitating before jumping in, I jumped in again and did another lap. I still hesitated, but not quite as long, which is something, at least. My son almost missed that second try, as he was busy dunking his head.
I found out soon after that the water was 62°. This experience at least let me teach my son by example an important principle that he probably gets tired of hearing me preach: suffering builds character.