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Friday, September 21, 2018

Don't Get In If They Can't Get You Out

Courtesy of WOWSA, Dingle, Co Kerry, Ireland.

Nuala Moore received the Admiral Frank Golden Scholarship from The Lifesaving Foundation, an international charity devoted to saving lives from drowning. The Foundation supports a number of partner projects and hosts regular drowning prevention conferences.

Moore was invited to speak on Rescue Emergency Care for channel swimmers and their escort pilots on October 20th - 21st.

During the presentation, the attendees received a copy of Moore's Insight Into The World Of Ice Swimming, a manual based on Moore's experiences doing ice swimming from Ireland to Russia and Argentina.

The manual focuses on Cold Water Shock, Cold Water Incapacitation/Swim Failure, Post-Rescue Collapse and Hypothermia and how it applies to ice swimmers.

Moore was humbled, "It was fantastic to see the minds turning on the areas I have been focusing on. I put the work into the manual for safety and educational reasons as the sport of ice swimming grows with events - it is great to see that this prestigious group of people picked it up and recognized."

Her presentation was titled 'Why Understanding the Challenge is as Important as Training for the Distance' that covered areas including channel swimming and ice swimming with the focus on increasing the awareness of escort teams for both rescue and support. Moore explained, "Risk assessment is an area and rescue readiness is an area that all swimmers need to be up-to-date on and my greatest lesson learned is that 'If the team can't get you out of the water, you don't get in.'

The greatest challenge is that many swims are remote and require the team to understand the challenges of the swim and to have the ability to recognize areas of swim failure.

In my area of cold water research and its applications and safe outcomes, I have been working with the World Extreme Medicine and Dr. Patrick Buck. I have learned so much, not only about the relevant information, but about the application to the swimmer. As cold takes hold, the challenge for the swimmer is to continue to function and still have the ability to recover.

What we have certainty about is that immersion in cold water changes the physiological workings of the body and our time in the water is finite, during this time depending on the swimmer and the temperature we have so much to monitor. I have loved my journey and now I am turning to safety and recovery from unintended outcomes of our swims.

As the sport grows and more people come into the challenges, the risks increase. "One of my main focuses is not only educating the swimmer, but also informing the teams of the potential roles they have; ones they may not have thought about and mostly ensure that we continue to push boundaries, but in a way that safety is not compromised in lieu of achievement.

Living on the edge requires a skill set and that is part and parcel of planning.

Cold water requires the team to be not only the support, but potentially to terminate a swim and adapt to being the rescue team. Being recognised by The Lifesaving Foundation is beyond exciting from the access I am given to those at the forefront of research and rescue

Photo above shows Moore with John Long, CEO of the Commonwealth Drowning Prevention and the Royal Lifesaving Society.

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