[OSS Oxon] Swim 24

Katie Smith kiffsmiff at yahoo.co.uk
Sat May 19 18:51:08 BST 2012

Afternoon all

I've come on a couple of OSS Oxon swims, and always loved them.  I think it's a cracking thing to do. I also live on a narrowboat.

Today, I just happened to moor up in Abingdon & saw a few of you getting ready in the car park. Then spotted a few of you in the water, coming through the bridge with the flow. 

As a boater, it scared me rigid!  Those in the water were coming through the centre of the bridge (one even floating on their back, head first, looking upstream!).  If I'd have been chugging upstream there is a fairly good chance I'd not have spotted you. I'd also have been struggling against a fairly strong flow, and should you have been near my bow, there'd probably be very little evasive action I could have taken, narrowboats aren't very easily manoeuvrable!  I'm not the only boater out there, a lot of people hire boats and may have less experience of how to control the boat they're on than me.

All I'm trying to say is please please be extra careful & aware around structures, corners & popular spots.

I hope none of you mind me emailing this, it is meant as a caring reminder, not a lecture!


On 18 May 2012, at 18:26, Sefryn Penrose <sefryn at gmail.com> wrote:

Dear all,

Just to confirm that we will go ahead tomorrow as planned with swim 24. Jenny has kindly recce'd the swim route today and thinks it is doable. The river status is down to amber from red. The beach exit around half-way is a good exit point for those who don't fancy the whole thing. (I've copied Jenny's message below). 

The river is faster than normal, so please take extra care and try and stick together in speed groups as far as possible. Also take care at the weir. 

Jenny notes that places to get out are fewer beyond the midway point, so if you are feeling tired half way, please don't push it. 

See you at 10.30. 


cycled along the full length of the swim this pm.

The river actually looks pretty normal to me now. It's certainly faster under Abingdon Bridge, but I didn't think it looked particularly dangerous.

I took a picture of the 'beach' that has been recommended for a half way stop and will upload in a mo - not quite as much of it as on GoogleEarth maybe, but it looks fine. It's a slightly soggy stretch of field tho.

Nothing else particularly of note. Plenty of places to get out of the river up until the mid-way point. From then on not many at all.

Hope that helps. 

Personally I think I'll probably call it a day at the mid-way beach. Or if I carry on I'll get out at a tiny little beach next to the danger sign where you turn left to avoid the weir. That's because the narrower stretch of river from there on to Culham lock had a very slightly stagnant feel to it!

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Please note that OSS Oxon exists to put swimmers in touch with other swimmers, not to organise swim events or in any way suggest that outdoor swimming is a safe activity or that you should go swimming. If you choose to swim you do so entirely at your own risk and on your own initiative, and any plans you make are your own responsibility.
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