How Long Can a Person Swim in the Ocean (And Why?)

Exact Answer: About 60 days

The ocean is a terrifying place, but just as fascinating. It is a whole new world out there that everyone has wished to explore at least once in their life. Very few get this lucky chance, while others take on daring challenges constantly pushing their limits and testing their luck.

After a good long day of swimming at the beach, especially in summers the mind wonders how long can one swim in the ocean. It may not seem like it but the human body can withstand a lot more time in the ocean than most people think.

How Long Can a Person Swim in the Ocean

How Long Can a Person Swim in the Ocean?

Swimming may or may not be a favourite activity for everyone but for those who decide to pursue it with complete dedication and discipline, it can be very strengthening, physically and mentally. Swimming for long hours especially is done by professional swimmers, those who are preparing for competitions or to break the records. It is a very active and extreme sport.

The human body cannot swim more than eight to ten hours a day, but it can continue this pattern for weeks. This has been proved by many long-distance swimmers who have completed these challenges and set great records. This can be divided into a few categories depending on the type of swim:

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Nonstop swimming

The longest non-stop swim in the ocean has been for about 29 hours 36 minutes and 57 seconds and was done without a wetsuit.

Swimming with Breaks

This kind of swimming of course is done to set a record in the matter of distance. The goal here is to reach a very long distance rather than stay in the water for as long as possible. The swimmers still of course swim for as long as they can but in this case, it is designed in a way that benefits the swimmer to go a long way. This can be done for 8 to 10 hours.

In this case, a person can swim up to as much as 60 days in the ocean.

Type of SwimmingDuration
Nonstop swimmingAbout 29 hours
Swimming with breaksAbout 60 days

Why Can People Swim This Long in the Ocean?

Human beings are not aquatic animals, they are not designed to live in the water. They can enjoy the water for a while but staying in the water for too long will start to affect the body quite dangerously. The skin on the fingers and toes becomes wrinkly after staying in the pool for a while, this is completely normal. It happens to offer a better grip underwater.

A person can swim in the ocean for about 8 to 10 hours without getting seriously fatigued. Even that requires very serious dedication and training. But swimming more than that will lead to severe exhaustion due to loss of energy and dehydration. Eventually, there will be a loss of consciousness. And once consciousness is lost in the ocean it can lead to many dangerous consequences including drowning.

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On the other hand, prolonged exposure to ocean water for more than 6 to 8 hours regularly will wash away all the sebum from the skin and will cause the skin to become waterlogged. This will make a person have severe sores and skin diseases as well as much more prone to fungal and bacterial infection. Washing away of the sebum in this way will just change the entire texture of the skin too.


Swimming is considered to be a great exercise that promotes physical and mental wellbeing. Swimming in the ocean is a great way of coming close to nature and exploring the deeper side of the world. But there is a limit to how long a person can swim in the ocean.

Several factors determine how long a person can swim, including stamina, practice, habitat, and lifestyle. Training and hard work will of course help a person to swim in the ocean for long hours and enjoy this active sport, but certain precautions must be seriously taken because long hours in the ocean can cause some severe damage to the body. 



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


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