Volunteered at the Swimathon this weekend and to my amazement some swimmers did 200 length of the 25m pool, that makes 5000 meters or 5km and had not a drop of water with them, no snacks or any type of refreshment.
As a parent, I would not be able to swim 5000 m without any water drink.
Apparently competitions have as longest distance 1500 m or 1.5 k, that is at most 60 length in a 25m pool. I think that swimmers already get very hot when competing at a 1500 meter race and often the pool water is kept at a lower temperature to accommodate that extra body heat.
I understand that Swimathon long-distance swimmers do not swim at their highest speed for 200 length of the pool but the strain on the body is severe I imagine.
Swimmers to perspire just as runners do and we would not put on running events without the supply of water to the runners, at least not any more.
Yes you can say that it is the responsibility of the swimmer to bring their own supplies, but people do forget. They find themselves having started the event and suddenly get thirsty. I don’t think it is much to ask an organiser to make some water available or emphasis to swimmers that they need to bring at least a bottle that can be filled up at a water fountain. And if all that fails have some spare bottles available.
At youth events, e.g. the London Youth Games, organisers give one free plastic bottle and water tanks to fill up those bottles to all participants.
I do think that organisers have a duty of care, even if the participants are adults.