About S.O.S.

Social Ocean Swims (S.O.S.)  was born out of a need to solve a simple problem: 

How can I get back to sea swimming now I've got this baby to look after?!

I used to swim with my partner, who was working during the day, or friends, who wanted to swim in the evenings when I was tired. I snuck out for a couple of solo swims but they always felt rushed; anxious that my baby might need me, mum guilt ruining the chance to switch off. 

On maternity leave, the days felt long so I signed up to pretty much all the baby groups I could find. They were fun, but I soon felt ready to do something for me.

I craved the sea. 

From my overthinking mind, through my stiff shoulders, healing scar and achey back down to my swollen feet, every inch of me wanted to dive into the salty solace of the ocean and let it wash away my worries.

Surely there must be other people feeling like this? 

I set up a Facebook page and as the numbers climbed I knew I'd found my tribe. 

We started meeting every Wednesday at Firestone Bay, building a community of sea-swimming mums, taking it in turns to look after each other's beach babes so everyone got a chance to swim. 

In Summer 2023, we started exploring other swimming spots, inviting dads and older siblings and sharing the literal and mental load of a day at the beach. It was phenomenal.

As the seasons changed and the sea temperature cooled, our meet ups got smaller and we faced a new set of challenges: trying to plan swims around the weather (as well as babies's naps, moods etc) and questioning the safety of swimming (and for some then breastfeeding) after a sewage dump. It's harder to throw caution against the wind (and rain) when a little one depends on you. 


There's still a few of us here who love the biting embrace of cold water swimming and honestly I haven't found a better cure (however brief) for the physical aches and mental stress of motherhood. 

We still cave the sea.

So, we'll wing it this winter. Swim when we can, where we can, with whoever's available that day. 

Although we started as a group of mums on mat leave, we welcome anyone who is finding it difficult to go sea swimming due to childcare. That means all parents and carers, including those with older children. All we ask is that you please read and follow the S.O.S. Guidelines. 

Here's where you can find out what's happening: 

Instagram @social.ocean.swims - follow for the latest swim meet ups and to see who we are and where we've been so far

Facebook S.O.S. mums and babies - closed group where it all began (quiet over winter)

WhatsApp Community (new!) group chats for Winter Swims, S.O.S. Socials and more. Register to be added. 

If you've got questions or ideas for S.O.S. you can get in touch at hello@socialoceanswims.com

Until then - sea you soon x

Carmel Lawless
S.O.S. Founder