Joining as a non-swimmer

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Red Wave, Nov 2, 2011.

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  1. I've just had the Recruit Test and now have the date of my medical, but I was just wondering at what point you think I should start swimming lessons? I am water confident, but haven't attempted swimming since secondary school so do plan on taking some lessons. My advisor knows this and just said that I'd need to be able to do the basic swimming test, but obviously these swimming lessons cost so don't want to start until I'm close to getting in? Should that be after my medical, now or after the PJFT?

    I've had people laugh at me wanting to join the RN as a non-swimmer but even if I wanted to join the army and go to Afghanistan I got told that I'd still have to do the basic swimming test so might as well join a service that I think I'd actually enjoy being in!
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  2. The earlier you start the more practice you get, the better you get. Once you learn you never forget so start sooner rather than latter.
  3. Get your arse down the pool now, once your confident you won't need any more lessons.
  4. Welcome to Rum Ration, Red Wave.

    I think that you might run into problems at some point if you are actually "a non-swimmer", as the PRNC, which is the compulsory short course which all Rating recruits are having to do in the months before their joining date, has a swimming component which you need to pass. When you do your PRNC will be dependent on which job you are applying for.

    Can you swim at all, by the way?

    I would recommend enquiring about swimming classes now at your local swimming pool and checking out the cost, so that you can factor this into your budgeting. If you can start sooner rather than later, this might be a good thing, as swimming can then become a part of your personal fitness programme while you are waiting for your start date.
  5. If they still let you join, unable to swim, you would have to attend remidial swimming lessons.

    At Raleigh you dont have much spare if any time and this is going to be another thing to cram in. You really going to make thing hard for your self if you dont crack it soon.
  6. Thanks for the replies.

    Closest thing to swimming I can do is the flutter kick - face under water - with my arms supported by two small floats. I have been down to my local pool to do this to practice breathing, obviously getting my arms moving would be where a swimming instructor would come in useful but as someone who only has a part-time job I was just curious if it was worth doing that now.
  7. What's the if for? I'm confident that I'll be able to learn to swim in my own time before any potential Royal Navy testing; that's why I'm asking now, to get rid of that barrier.
  8. I think that it is definitely worth enquiring about now. Once you have the details you need about the cost, you will know whether you can consider booking up soon or need to save up a bit. By the way, if you're not working full-time, you might be eligible for a discount on the cost of the lessons. There might be a swimming class you can join - you don't necessarily need to start with one-to-one teaching, a class will do, just to get you started. Once you get going, you will be keen to make progress, I'm sure - you just need to get started. Swimming really will help with your level of fitness across the board, it's also very good for de-stressing.

    Do you know where your local pool is?

    I personally think that being able to swim is a skill everyone should have anyway, regardless of their career aspirations.
  9. Im not saying dont try and learn now. That would be stupid you dont need remedial swim when your at Raleigh. But without anyone saying im being racist a good percentage of Commonwealth recruits in training when I was there could not swim when they joined Raleigh. But i didnt know one of them getting back classed. The PTIs will get you though it so dont worry to much. But do try and get yourself sorted before you get there.
  10. I don't think that the option of starting at Raleigh and being unable to swim exists now that the PRNC has come in.
  11. The swim test isn't that hard - I'm not a great swimmer but managed to pass (a while ago now, granted).

    Anyone who laughs at you for joining the RN and not being a strong swimmer: remind them that the point of the Navy is to stay in a Ship or Boat. If you're in the water then something has gone wrong.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator


    No swim, no join.

    The advice is start swimming lessons now, the longer you practice, the better you get & it's an excellent form of non-impact cardio vascular exercise in preparation for undergoing the rigours of Initial Naval Training (INT).

    Under no circumstances delay learning to swim as INT is intense enough without being under threat of discharge for failing the swimming test.
  13. Don't really see the need to take lessons. The technique is simple enough, all you need to do is practise. Within an hour you should be able to crack a couple of metres. Think slow and long.
  14. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    There is flight deck sports with too much testosterone and not enough spatial awareness. Man overboard, man overboard, man overboard.

    Quite. Flutter kicks etc and swimming properly is hard and takes practice and concentration. A coach may make you an Olympian in time but may drown you* in technique. For your purpose you need to float and move through the water or tread it. Doggy paddle or basic breast stroke should be sufficient.

    Get off of the internet, get to the pool.

    *The pun was intended.
  15. All candidates for Naval service will be required to pass a swimming test during selection. You should as a minimum be able to swim 50m of breaststroke comfortably in 4 mins. The military swimming test that you will take in the first week at Raleigh is to put on a set of overalls (Thick heavy cotton coveralls), tread water for 2 mins, swim 50m in 4 minutes and then climb out of the pool unaided.

    The PRNC(R) is as said now a mandatory part of the selection. If you fail the swimming test you will not enter Raleigh at all.

    So get down th pool now and put your mind at rest on whether you have the ability to pass.

    Having recruited for over 9 years now I can tell you gone are the days when non-swimmers would get into the Royal Navy.

  16. Sexual innuendo? ;)

    • Like Like x 1
  17. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    If the Navy wanted us to be able to swim, why do we have HDLJs, RIBs and SOWs..?! :shock:
  18. Many people move their arms and legs far too fast when learning to swim, which has a negative effect and tends to induce panic.

    Think long and slow - stretch into the stroke, slowly.

    Even when holding one's breath, or blowing out you'll get 3/4 strokes and about 3 metres. Within an hour, you should be able to get about 10.

    You can now swim.

    Get better.
  19. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Just resign yourself to the fact that, if you can't swim, you're gonna die.
  20. You will also die if you can swim.
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