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The difference: swimming in fresh water or salt water


The main difference between swimming in fresh water and swimming in salt water is that swimming or, to be more precise, floating, in salt water is basically easier than swimming in fresh water. Here is why.


Why swimming in fresh water is harder

Fresh water has a weight of 62.4 lbs per cubic foot, whereas salt water has a weight of 64 lbs.

The Archimedes’ principle (Archimedes of Syracuse, 212 B.C) states that any object that is partially or wholly immersed within a fluid, will be buoyed up by forces equal to the total weight of the fluid that has been displaced by said object.

In other words, the denser, heavier salt water produces more buoyancy. This is added to by the water in the sea typically being deeper than in a pool, for instance. In essence, because you are higher up in the water and do not have to put as much effort into staying afloat, you also find it easier to move forward.


Dangers of swimming in salt water

Unfortunately, the fact that it is much easier to swim in salt water does have its drawbacks. It is, for example, all too easy to swim out much further than you intended to. By the time you realise how far out to sea you have gone, getting back could become difficult.

This difficulty could be added to by currents and tidal forces dragging you out further still. This kind of scenario has been known to be the cause of many drowning and near-drowning accidents.


Dangers of swimming in fresh water

Rivers may have strong currents that could drag you along or under, and in lakes, swimming out too far and then not having the strength to return is definitely a risk.

In pools, such risks are not present, but even here, accidents are possible.

Other pool users may put you at risk of personal injuries by jumping into the water without looking out for others. Pool surrounds are also typically wet, which means you could have a slip and fall.

Uneven or damaged pool surrounds, steps or paths near pools may also cause injuries by slips, trips and falls.


Unfortunate events

If you suffer an injury in a pool accident, be it a slip, trip or fall or any other kind of pool-related accident, you could be eligible for a personal injury claim.

We, Accident Advice Helpline, can assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to. Call us now on 0800 689 5659, to discover how.