If you get sucked into the middle, you should swim down and crawl out. The most effective strategy for surviving a whirlpool is not to get caught in one in the first place. Not only were they the first people to kayak the river, they were also the first to navigate it and survive. A whirlpool, on the other hand (turning water), would basically float outwards.
Use your momentum and extra paddle strokes to free yourself from the whirlpool’s grip on the downstream side.
Can you swim in a whirlpool?
Whirlpools are the bane of inexperienced kayakers and the delight of experienced adrenaline junkies. In rivers, tidal waters near their mouths or in other areas where the current goes in more than one direction, whirlpools are a potential drowning hazard. It is not exactly easy to get out of a whirlpool, but you have to swim diagonally to the current you are being driven into. To survive a whirlpool, you need to familiarise yourself with the different types of whirlpools, develop a strategy for each type of whirlpool and keep calm if you get caught in one.
As with any other current, the moving water can overwhelm a swimmer and pull them under, causing them to drown.
What happens in a whirlpool?
The whirlpool is formed when the strong tidal current flows between the islands and the Atlantic Ocean and the deep Vestfjord. Moskstraumen are created by various factors such as tides, strong winds, the location of Lofotodden and the topography of the underwater. A whirlpool is a body of rotating water created by opposing currents or a current hitting an obstacle. They combine with Norwegian Sea currents and storm-induced currents, resulting in a significant current.
It is also a system of tidal eddies that form on the Norwegian Sea between the Lofoten tip of Moskenes and Vaeroy on the island of Mosken.