Swimming Under the Influence

Published by Swimaholic001 on

Swimming Under the Influence

Swimming pools

Swimming Drunk. Credits Odyssey

I am sure you are wondering why I chose to blog about booze in a swimming column. However, Google any statistic out there and you’ll see that the world, including you Kenyan folk are consuming alcohol to historical highs, let alone other drugs. I am no moral judge, and I sure wouldn’t pass for innocent in many of your opinion courts, but beyond your public image and role-modelism, here’s why you shouldn’t drink and dive.

Drugs impair one’s judgement and perception and while it may sound unbelievably dumb in retrospect, it may be an innocent mistake. Picture this. You have gone on a dream holiday at the coast, it’s some hot night and you can’t stand the hotel’s poor air conditioning. You’ve had one, two… many glasses of whatever mastery some brewer came up with, and the lukewarm waters await, willing for you to plunge in. And you go drunk diving.

In February, a promising young life was lost when a man in a retreat centre in Dagoretti, Nairobi, drowned while swimming drank. A few years back, a girl lost her life under similar circumstances at a party at a Hilton hotel swimming pool. These cases of Dutch courage conjured by alcohol may be blamed for the deaths of these Kenyans. A lifeguard colleague of mine relates how he has had to send back a number of grumpy guests on holiday who have come down to the pool after chugging quick shots at the bar.

Swimming pool safety

In this[i] study on young Australian men, there was shown a causative relationship between poor risk perceptions and subjective swimming ability that encourage individuals to swim when drank. Put simply, we are more likely to assume our swimming skills are stellar when they are not and believe that swimming drank is less risky.

Smoking- cigarettes and marijuana- also influences one’s perception, although lesser pronounced than alcohol. Further, smoking definitely reduces lung capacity and oxygen uptake, reducing the efficiency of strokes. If you have to use drugs, make sure you are sober before hitting the water and avoid swimming alone even then.

[i] Hamilton K1, Schmidt H. (2014) Drinking and swimming: investigating young Australian males’ intentions to engage in recreational swimming while under the influence of alcohol. J Community Health. 2014 Feb;39(1):139-47. doi: 10.1007/s10900-013-9751-4.


I love swimming. I would like as many Kenyans to learn how to swim. Join me in my quest

1 Comment

Ben · May 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

I love how you write man. Keep up and Kendrick;)

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