Watermanship Page: 15
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
13. SWIMMING TO SHORE. a. Surf. In case of ship-
wreck near shore or of the necessity of swimming to
shore from a landing craft sunk or beached on a sand
bar offshore, every soldier should know how to protect
himself against surf, current, undertow, and tide rip.
When approaching a shore, he should take up the breast
stroke or dog paddle and survey the conditions of the
beach (rock, sand), power of the surf, undertow, tide
rip, and existing currents.
(1) Surf is the breaking of the waves on a beach.
Undertow is the strong current beneath the surface that
sets seaward after the wave has passed over. Tide rip is
a condition set up when an outgoing tide opposes and
slips under an incoming tide. The line of opposition
is usually identified by a line of frothing water. Under-
tow is only within the first line of breakers; a strong
push on the bottom with feet will push the swimmer to
the surface immediately after being rolled, putting him
in position to collect himself again and try for another
landing. There is no cause for fear.
(2) Difficulty also sometimes results from encounter-
ing a body of water left between the beach and a sand
bar by an outgoing tide. The trapped water may cut a
path through the sand bar and create a strong outgoing
current through the path and for some distance beyond
the sand bar, with comparatively still water on either
side. After surveying the beach the swimmer should
swim opposite the point selected for landing; or if a
current exists, to such a point that by going diagonally
across the current the landing spot will be reached. He
should remove the life preserver and all other means of
support and discard them if possible. The weak swim-
mer may hang on to them but always should be ready
to let go.
(3) Before swimming to shore one should remember
the action of any sea animal in swimming through surf.
The seal, for instance, disappears outside the line surf
and reappears on the shore. It takes advantage of the
calm water beneath the breaking waters of the surf.
The soldier making a landing should follow its example;
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
United States. War Department. Watermanship, book, April 25, 1944; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96650/m1/21/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.