Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The organizers of the open water swim events in the Rhine are frequently asked a number of questions. We have listed the questions and the corresponding answers below for your convenience.

What is the purpose behind the official open water swim event in the Rhine organized by the SLRG Basel?

We are aiming to make open water swims in the natural environment more popular. The security measures deployed during the event may also motivate people who are usually too afraid to swim in the Rhine.

Is the water quality of the rhine good enough?

Generally yes. We are in permanent contact with the regional labs in Basel-City that are continuously monitoring the water quality. There is generally no health risk for healthy people as long as the water quality is ok. However, we recommend not to drink the water and not to submerge your head.

What are possible reasons for the open water swim to be cancelled?

The event can be cancelled for a number of reasons:

  • The water quality is not good enough
  • The water levels are too high
  • The water temperature is below 18 degrees Celsius
  • Bad and/or cold weather
  • Thunderstorms
  • Drift wood after strong rainfall or after fast melting snow in the mountains
  • Unanticipated events such as blockages or obstacles like construction sites

What are the prerequisites required from the participants of the open water swim event in the Rhine?

The participants need to be able to swim well and safely and feel comfortable in the water. In addition, we would like to draw your attention to our rules and bathing- and river rules.

Which security measures do we take?

The whole group of swimmers will be accompanied by lifeguards. There will also be police boats and additional boats from several watersports clubs to secure the course. Medical services will also be present. All key participants in the security system will be connected with 2-way radios and are in direct radio contact with the emergency services.

What are potential dangers that swimmers need to pay attention to in the Rhine?

Keep your distance from bridge piers (danger of turbulences). Never swim into the navigation channel (see map). Always pay attention to boats and buoys, generally look downriver but check upriver in regular intervals for approaching ships. When getting out of the water, check the bank for objects (broken glass, wood, metal) that could cause cuts and other injuries.
The shipping traffic is halted during the official open water swim event in the Rhine starting at 6 pm.

How much does it cost to participate in the open water swim in the Rhine organized by the SLRG Basel?

Participation is free of charge. The organizers and the support team work as volunteers. Refreshments and souvenirs are provided by sponsors and are handed out as long as supplies last. All participants in the open water swim event receive a medal and a diploma from the SLRG Basel.

How do I find out whether the open swim event in the Rhine takes place as planned?

Starting on Monday, noon, you can call (+41) 061 1600 5 to find out whether the event takes place. You can also find the information at