The Annual Swim Around Key West is presented by the Key West Athletic Association. It is an independent and insured swim, permitted by the U.S. Coast Guard. In order to secure the Coast Guard permit, the organizers must submit a safety plan that must be approved by the local sector of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard holds the authority to pull the permit at any time if they sense the event is unsafe to any participants. If the event fails to successfully execute the plan, the Coast Guard has the right to deny the permit for the following year’s date.
We are pleased to report that we have an amicable working relationship with the local sector of the U.S. Coast Guard and that they have approved our requested date.
We make great effort to make sure a sufficient number of “Committee Boats” to assist swimmers on the course. These boats are identifiable with yellow flags prominently displayed. They are tasked with nothing more than observing and attending to our swimmers and their escort vessels. All swimmers will be given the cell phone number of our race director, as well as his radio frequency in laminated plastic, and the escort boaters are urged to keep those numbers in a handy place. Additionally, there will most likely be a “Committee Boat” within distance in case of any emergency.
A copy of the safety plan will be available to any participants upon request. As mentioned, the Coast Guard has the authority to pull the permit if they deem the conditions too severe to carry on the event. Since we have no control over the weather, in consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, if we deem the weather unacceptable for the swim, the race director will terminate the event and there is no alternate date. The race director’s decisions are final. The 36th Annual Swim was extremely rough, and we were closer to canceling the swim than ever in the history of the swim. Since that year, conditions have been much improved.