noun - A support swimmer is an individual who swims alongside or near an open water swimmer, channel swimmer, or marathon swimmer to protect, pace or accompany a swimmer during a swim under any circumstances (during the day or night, or in calm or rough, cold or warm waters). Specific rules apply to the number, time and time of duration for support swimmers by some channel swimming organizations and governing bodies.
A support swimmer is permitted only on solo swims in the English Channel by the Channel Swimming Association at the discretion of the pilot. Only one support swimmer is allowed in the water at one time. Support swimmers are not permitted to enter the water until the swim is at least 2 hours underway. Support swimmers are permitted to swim for up to one hour only and can only re-enter the water until another hour has passed.
In the Catalina Channel, support swimmers are allowed at any time during any or all part of the swim.
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