Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer, decided to train for a triathlon or are diving into a new fitness regimen, open-water swimming is a great way to introduce variety into your summer workouts. The sunshine, fresh air, cool water and incredible workout are refreshing, however, the open water requires careful safety measures.
Unlike a swimming pool that has neatly painted black lines to guide your swim, the open water presents conditions and visibility that can change instantaneously, and lifeguards are further away than in pool settings, if they are present at all. The fact is, there are countless uncontrollable situations that can occur in the open water impacting not only your workout, but also your safety.
Every year, swimmers suffer fatalities due to cramps, fatigue, changes in weather, medical conditions, SIPE, cardiac events, allergic reactions to stings, arrhythmia, entanglement, panic, or attempting to assist a distressed swimmer without flotation. Furthermore, statistics indicate that there is at least one fatal swim every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day, in USAT sanctioned races in the USA.
Introduce The Swim IT, an open-water swim safety device that conveniently attaches to a swimmer’s leg and with one pull on the tab, instantly deploys and inflates a tethered lifejacket.
Developed by elite endurance athletes themselves, the creators of The Swim IT, Rick Senn and Amanda McIntosh, realized that regardless of experience level or swimming abilities, too many open water swimmers were losing their lives.
“As a commercial airline pilot, I was inspired to create The Swim IT by the safety flotation devices stored under airline seats, that inflate instantly with one pull,” said Senn, The Swim IT Co-Founder. “I knew there had to be additional ways to leverage this technology. Before I became a commercial pilot, I was an Air Force pilot, and while I was confident in my aircraft and navigation skills, I still carried a parachute in the event that if every other option failed, I still had an out. In the open water and even in the pool, The Swim IT is that “out” when all other options fail.”
“I enjoyed swimming and before launching The Swim IT, I knew that my family was counting on me to return safely from open water swims,” continues Senn. “The open water lacks a safety net and I was determined to add a back up plan to help me and my family feel safe in the open water. I wanted a swim safety device that could attach to a swimmer without being cumbersome or impeding movement.”
The Swim IT is not about ability or fear, but rather about offering swimmers a race legal emergency flotation device for survival and peace of mind when self-rescue is necessary. Using a CO2 cartridge, The Swim IT inflates once the “Pull to Inflate” tab is activated, and exits the pouch. The inflated life jacket is tethered with a 5-foot cord to the leg, which prevents it from being separated from the swimmer. Additionally, The Swim IT, designed for open water swimming and triathlons, will not increase drag when worn properly on the back of the leg.
“We created The Swim IT because we wanted to help swimmers feel safe in the open water,” said Amanda McIntosh, The Swim IT Co-Founder. “The fact that The Swim IT was directly responsible for 5 life saving rescues in the last 2 year reinforces the product quality and makes us feel like we’re improving the overall open water swimming experience. Triathletes love The Swim IT because it’s race-legal in all USA Triathlon events including IRONMAN races, does not create drag and has instantaneous deployment ability. We feel and want swimmers to think of The Swim IT as the bike helmet for open water swimming. In other words, think of The Swim IT as essential to your swim safety as a bike helmet is to your bike safety. You never plan to use your helmet, but you wear it anyway (even on training rides when it is optional). Use of the The Swim IT should fall into that same mentality.”