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Reader Story: Marine College

by Francois, Dieppe, France

Many years ago, I attended a marine college to qualify for working on ships. Besides an intense academic curriculum, they also were keen on getting us physically fit for life at sea.

Every weekday morning before breakfast we had swim training in the pool beside my dorm which I really enjoyed. We were told to always swim in seaman's rain suits which felt good and comfortable in the water, but were harder to swim in.

pool swimming in clothes
Putting our swimwear on

pool swimming in clothes
Hood up reduces drag.

Morning swims include endurance and strength training for about 40 minutes, like lane swimming, rescue towing, sit-ups and push-ups.

pool swimming in clothes
These swimsuits get you fit.
pool swimming in clothes
Swimming takes effort.


Safety Training

Three times a week we practiced various aspects of sea survival and safety training in the pool. This was good fun, but tough. We had to wear the usual rain suits on top of two layers of clothing, plus boots. Practice included life rafts, clothes inflation for buoyancy, jumping from heights, and swimming underwater.

pool swimming in clothes
Safety training with boots.
pool swimming in clothes
Using boots as floats.
pool swimming in clothes
Boot as buoyancy aid
pool swimming in clothes
Trousers as buoyancy aid
pool swimming in clothes
Trouser inflation
pool swimming in clothes
Floating was always fun.
pool swimming in clothes
Rescue training
pool swimming in clothes
Wading boots

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