Swimming is an innate skill. All EQ races can swim in and under water at level 1, but your movement speed will be greatly reduced. You also have a limited time you can remain under water before you must surface and breathe, so higher skill in Swimming helps you come to the surface faster. When you run out of air, you start to drown quickly and this can be a quick death at lower levels. The Swimming skill will automatically and randomly increase the more you swim in water.
BREATHING': There are several ways to counteract the need to breathe in EQ. Here are some:
1. Spell: Enduring Breath (limited duration buff cast by players and some items).