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Old 07.08.2020, 16:14
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Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

Hi

I'm an experienced swimmer and am thinking about open water swimming in the Zuerichersee.

Are there any restrictions about where you can/cannot swim?

Any reason why you cannot launch off say from a park along the lake shore?

Am aware of designated swimming areas like Seebad Utoquai.

Obviously swimming near ferry ports/routes is stupid/illegal.

I read somewhere that there is a rule to separate watercraft (sailing boats, rowing boats, etc) from swimmers, the former to remain beyond a set distance from shore (150m?), the latter encouraged to remain within the set distance ?

Any other considerations? Duck fleas, algae blooms?

Thank you
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Old 07.08.2020, 16:22
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

You do not have to swim within 150m from shore, but it is highly recommended as boats have strict limits there.

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/pd/de/i...und_badenimsee
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Old 07.08.2020, 16:32
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

Great thanks komsomolez
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Old 07.08.2020, 16:43
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

You are a allowed to go out. But, beyond the yellow buoys you have to expect boat traffic. Wear a bright visible cap.

There two shore zones: the inner up to 150 meters from the shore where you can use floating devices and non registered dingy etc. In this zone motor boats are must travel perpendicular to the shore line and not faster than 10 km/.

The outer shore zone is 150 meters up to 300 meters from the shore. Here boats are allowed to cruise parallel to the shore but still not faster than 10 km/h. Just like on the road some people do not give damn about the speed limits.

If you intend to swim long distance alone (which is not a wise idea, as a cramp and the lack of salt in the water can make you disappear rather quickly) keep within the above mentioned distances. If you are accompanied by a boat the 150 to 300 meter zone would be perfect.

Swimming across the lake alone is pretty, pretty foolish. You might be hit by a recreational craft towing a water skier. In addition, did I tell you about the cramp and the lack of salt (less buoyancy)? Btw. Lake Zurich is up to 135 meters deep.

Nevertheless it is not forbidden to cross the lake. If you do so get a someone which can accompanying you with a boat. Be aware about the cruise line boats as they have the priority. A row boat is good enough (it has priority over regular motor boats, but must give way to sailing boats). If a group of ten or more person cross the lake you must inform the water police, in that case you can also rent rowing boats from them. It is a Weidling which is navigated using a stand-up rowing technique.

Last but least: If you see yellow buoys but no public bath then you will enter a nature protection zone. Keep away from that as well.

Btw: There are two water polices in Zurich. The one for the city of Zurich, and the one for the rest of the lake which belings to Canton Zurich.

Organised Events (most of them have been canceled for 2020):
https://www.swimsports.ch/de/schwimmkalender
https://ch.srichinmoyraces.org/z%C3%...-marathon-swim
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Old 07.08.2020, 19:41
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

If you pay the Fr. 6 or so entrance fee into a public swimming area, you get a locker (take your own padlock along) and toilets and free showers (even hot!), and sometimes a kiosk or small restaurant, and sunbathing areas (bring your own towel).

If you swim just anywhere, that's completely fine, too. It's a good idea, though, to take along as little as possible, and to spend a few minutes looking at all the other folk sitting around, then choosing someone who looks trustworthy and as if they're going to be there for a while, to ask them to keep an eye on your bags and clothes while you're in the water.
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Old 07.08.2020, 23:09
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

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If you intend to swim long distance alone (which is not a wise idea, as a cramp and the lack of salt in the water can make you disappear rather quickly) keep within the above mentioned distances.
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...spend a few minutes looking at all the other folk sitting around, then choosing someone who looks trustworthy and as if they're going to be there for a while, to ask them to keep an eye on your bags and clothes while you're in the water.
A great accessory that makes deep water swimming alone more safe, and also protects your valuables are dry bag/swim buoys, such as this one from Campz.ch.



The advantages are three-fold:

1. You can take your valuables with you instead of leaving them on the shore and hoping for the best.
2. It makes you much more visible to boaters and other swimmers.
3. It can serve as a flotation device in case you run into problems.

It attaches around your waist and floats behind you, there is basically no extra resistance, I can't even feel mine when I use it. (And as a bonus, since I have my phone with me I record my swimming distance and time using strava.)

Happy swimming!
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Old 08.08.2020, 10:50
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

there are some 'no swim' areas directly around where the boat/ferry jetties are.

And you will see people swimming long-distance, generally along the shoreline (as mentioned, within 150m) and with bright reflectors and also inflatables that are fluro, to help with visability.


Ferries and general boat traffic are an issue in all parts of the lake.
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Old 08.08.2020, 17:55
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

Thank you for all the various replies. I can confirm that I have no plans to cross the lake on my own and simply prefer to train parallel to the shore and far from the maddening crowd. I already have a bright cap and tow float (bright enough for the Christmas fairy to want to put on her sunglasses ). I can also confirm that the tow float is very useful for all the reasons already mentioned.

Interested to hear that there are 2 policies, one for the city and one for the Canton. komsomolez's post has a link to the former. Any idea where the latter is to be found? ie for the Canton
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Old 08.08.2020, 18:19
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Re: Open Water Swimming in Lake Zurich - Restrictions?

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Interested to hear that there are 2 policies, one for the city and one for the Canton. komsomolez's post has a link to the former. Any idea where the latter is to be found? ie for the Canton
https://www.zh.ch/de/sicherheit-just...ewaessern.html

The law and regultaion are all the same for whole of Lake Zurich and Upper Lake (Obersee, east of the Rapperswil-Pfäffikon dam)

Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 08.08.2020 at 18:51.
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