Watermanship Page: 17
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he should duck uncer breaking waves. He should use
the breast stroke, side stroke, or dog paddle, looking
behind to see the waves and looking ahead to check the
direction. He should bob under the breaking waves,
then come up and swim toward short continuously look-
ing behind for the next approaching wave. (See fig. 11.)
He should not fight undertow and should remember
that it exists only for a short distance out below the
surface. He must avoid panic and conserve energy.
The wave will advance the swimmer more than the
undertow will carry him back. He should swim easily
until the next breaker comes along and then come in
on the forward swell following the breaker. If he can
stand on the bottom easily, he should watch the waves
more carefully. 'They vary in size. He should go under
the large ones and walk toward shore with the small
ones, bracing his feet against returning undertow. He
must always be patient even though making only a few
feet at a time.
b. Rocky shore. In landing on a rocky shore, the
swimmer must not allow himself to be hit by a breaking
wave. The danger is that a wave will throw him upon
the rocks. He must bob under the wave before it breaks
and cling to the bottom if possible. The bottom is
c. Currents. He should not swim against the pull of
a current; it will exhaust him. Instead he should swim
diagonally across its pull without panic and with a
strong stroke. Before long the effect will be avoided.
Then he should continue swimming toward shore at
some other point.
d. Weak swimmer. The weak swimmer must remain
outside a breaking surf with his life preserver until help
arrives. If no aid is available, he must swim along the
shore outside the surf and with the current, looking for
an inlet to a river or bay, a long jetty, or a point where
the surf breaks only when close to shore.
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United States. War Department. Watermanship, book, April 25, 1944; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96650/m1/23/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.