Reykjavík Sea Swimmers Prone to Fainting Skip to content

Reykjavík Sea Swimmers Prone to Fainting

Thankfully, so far no one has been in serious danger following sea swimming at Nauthólsvík Beach in central Reykjavík. However, people frequently feel faint and even pass out after a swim in the cold sea. Physicians encourage people to show extreme caution as to avoid disasters, reports.

The reason why sea swimmers who frequent Nauthólsvík are so prone to fainting is due to the extreme physical strain it entails. The division manager of the artificially heated beach stresses that its conditions are good and such cases are few and far between, considering the massive number of people who swim in the sea on a regular basis.

sailhusavik-sjosund-2Sea Swimming in Iceland.

According to a physician at the emergency room at Landspítali, The National University Hospital of Iceland, people must be made aware of the dangers that sea swimming involves. There is risk of hyperthermia, gasping for breath, unconsciousness and even swimming malfunction in the cold sea, causing them to lose mobility, which may lead to drowning.

People also must realize that if they immediately immerse themselves in the area’s hot pots, as is common practice, blood pressure can suddenly drop and cause them to feel faint.

That is exactly what happened to Hildur Eva Ómarsdóttir who almost passed out while showering after a soak. She contributes it to the fact that perhaps she hadn’t eaten enough before the swim.

Her swimming companion, also a young woman, rushed to her friend’s aid but ended up fainting herself and falling to the concrete floor of the shower area. Her injured face required nine stitches.

In the past two years, the Nauthólsvík staff has had to deal with sixteen serious cases. Six times, calling an ambulance was necessary, once due to a swimmer’s heart attack. Cases of fainting where people quickly recover are not always documented and it can be assumed that they are significantly more. It should however be noted that the swims have been more than twenty thousand in that period.

Nauthólsvík has a specialized infirmary. Incidentally, most of those to require medical assistance are seasoned swimmers as those who are experienced tend to be all too ambitious.

Division manager of Nauthólsvík Beach Árni Jónsson emphasizes the importance of following a set of basic rules. Never swim alone, always be able to reach bottom, recognize the symptoms of hyperthermia and listen to one’s body.

Despite her fainting accident, Hildur Eva still goes sea swimming every week.


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