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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Keeping A Good Lookout - Can't Be Done Without Them

They lose a night of sleep. They sometimes get seasick, hungry and cold. They stand at alert for hours on end. They sometimes make tough calls and are trained to provide an additional level of safety.

And they do it willingly. They feel privileged and honored to do their part and help support a channel swimmer.

Observers, those people who confirm swimmers abide by the rules of the sport and write detailed reports of the swim afterwards, are the unsung heroes and heroines behind the scenes.

At the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation banquet, the Federation showed their appreciation for their selfless efforts by giving the observers some special and useful gifts.

Bright yellow branded safety vests were given to volunteers who provided paddling support for a Catalina Channel swim during the 2012 season. The Federation's new observers were given an embroidered logo bag, and the Captain's Chairs were given to both long-time observers who have supported the Federation for at least 5 years or to individual observers who supported at least 5 swims during the 2012 season.

The appreciation by the community was appreciated.

Observing the observers, it is heartwarming to see how many swimmers are involved, from the young like Evan Morrison and Grace van der Byl to the veterans like Carol Sing and Forrest Nelson. In other words, sometimes they swim and sometimes they observer - helping each other realize their own dreams.

Photos by Catalina Channel Swimming Federation board member Paula Selby.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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