Swimming skills, escape from water entrapment and the history of water safety are themes which enjoin all who work, volunteer and serve in the domains of the aquatic professions. The imperative of being able to swim and the importance of survival skills are curiously illustrated by two examples from the history of medicine. One relates to the Code of Hammurabi (1750 BC); the other relates to the punishment by drowning, inflicted by King John of Bohemia (1296 – 1346 AD). In these two examples, escape from water entrapment and the ability to swim were more important skills than the possession of medical interventions with curative outcomes, or even the presumption of innocence following criminal arrest and subsequent judicial trial. In ancient Babylon, it was more important to be able to swim than to be honest.