I'm sure they all have their excuses for why they swam that may or may not be legit.
As for the instant swim from the yellow boat, he didn't hit his face, but did break his paddle on that impact. We were walled out and he swam to avoid flushing around the corner (where it turns out there was some massive class II).
For the long ride, I'm pretty sure he would have flushed quickly had he swam; however that river (Upper Perth) is not swim friendly as it's fairly high volume, continuous, sieved out, and about 300 fpm. That said, we had half the group swim out of another hole at the same time and got away with only a lost water bottle. Sometimes you get lucky.