What does safe snorkeling mean for you? We believe that snorkeling is a great experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family and absolutely safe if you follow some rules and instructions. Let us help you with 10 snorkeling safety tips on how to minimize the chance of discomfort or water accidents, and make the most of your beach holidays!
- 1 Safe snorkeling guide – 10 tips to follow
- 1.1 Be confident in the water
- 1.2 Buy good quality snorkel equipment and learn to use it
- 1.3 Find a snorkel buddy, do not snorkel alone
- 1.4 After eating take a rest
- 1.5 Stay hydrated but no alcohol
- 1.6 Be fit and healthy
- 1.7 Protect your skin
- 1.8 Stay close to the shore/reef
- 1.9 Check the weather/marine weather forecast
- 1.10 Never touch the corals/marine life
Safe snorkeling guide – 10 tips to follow
Snorkeling is an easy and fun holiday activity that can be enjoyed by young and old. There is no qualification needed meaning everybody in good physical condition who can swim can snorkel too. But since you will be out on open water, you need to pay attention to some important snorkeling safety tips and rules.
Be confident in the water
Learn to swim and snorkel well! Snorkeling is an easy sport, you can learn “how-to-snorkel” in a very short time. If you feel more comfortable, wear an extra snorkel vest for your safety. For open water snorkeling carry a highly visible swim buoy. It makes you noticeable for your snorkel buddy and other people in the ocean. Boats passing nearby will spot you easily as well as you can rest on this flotation buoy if feeling tired. Snorkel vest and swimming buoy are basic snorkeling safety equipment that should be always part of your snorkel gear.
Buy good quality snorkel equipment and learn to use it
Do not spare on your gear, buy good products from trusted manufacturers. Having well-made snorkel gear is crucial or safe snorkeling holidays. Bad items might break in the most unexpected moments, so do not risk ruining your snorkel trip because of a leaking mask or damaged fins. Spend time on selecting the right mask, snorkel and fin and learn to use them properly. If you are planning to buy Easybreath type mask make sure to read about Full Face Mask safety!
Find a snorkel buddy, do not snorkel alone
If your family or your partner is also keen about the underwater world, it is not a problem to find a buddy and organize safe snorkeling trips together. But if you are alone, try to join a group or find a buddy in your hotel/on the beach. Unexpected emergency situations could happen to everyone, so it is better if you could help each other. And of course the fun is bigger when it is shared! Should you go out alone though, stay close to shore within sight. Useful snorkeling safety tip is to take your phone with you in a waterproof phone bag so you can call help in case of emergency.
After eating take a rest
Do not go snorkeling when your tummy full. The waves and accidentally drinking of salt water might mix up your stomach resulting discomfort and feel of sickness. Eat light but nutritive food like fruits, vegetables, salads with chicken, wholemeal pasta which will give you energy for swimming.
Stay hydrated but no alcohol
Did you attend a hard party last night and drink too much? Than better if you stay on the shore and let your body regenerate. Swimming under the impact of alcohol can lead to dangerous situations. Plan ahead what you want to do, chilling out snipping cocktails or having a safe snorkeling day. From the other side, being hydrated is important especially while on holiday when you stay long hours outside in the sun not just sitting in an air-conditioned office. Drink lot of water and/or no sugar added juices.
Be fit and healthy
If you feel yourself not 100 % fit, have a cold or got sunstroke, wait until you are healthy again. If there is strong current or you swam too far from your entry point, you will need a lot of energy to return to your beach. Remember, a safe snorkeling session starts with your well-being!
Protect your skin
Protecting your skin against sun rays is a snorkeling safety tip that unfortunately people use to skip. Sunburn could be not only painful but also dangerous. Instead of applying sunblock that contains chemicals and can harm marine life the best is if you wear an UV protective rash guard. A high elasticity swimming shirt or suit provides 50+ UV protection as well as good against jellyfish. There are different type of rash guards from different manufacturers (short and long sleeve shirts, trousers and full suits or there are specific stinger suits). If you don’t want to stop using sunblock, make sure to buy a coral reef safe sunscreen!
Stay close to the shore/reef
If there is an „assigned snorkel area” stay inside and you can spend safe snorkeling hours in the water. Staying within the buoy line means that the area is not only safe to swim but also boat free.If there is no sign where to snorkel, ask the locals about the conditions, currents and things to see. Before you go snorkeling, check the entry and possible exit points, make a plan where can you come out of the water if you feel tired or not well or do not have energy to swim back to the point where you entered.
Check the weather/marine weather forecast
Conditions on the sea could change just in seconds, wind, waves and currents can be extremely strong in short time. If the weather is nice in the morning it might be stormy in the afternoon especially in the tropics. Always check the weather forecast before heading to the beach! Take beach warning flags seriously and follow lifeguards’ instructions. For safe snorkeling, learn how to recognize rip currents and how to escape if getting caught in.
Never touch the corals/marine life
Last but not least, the most important snorkeling safety rule: respect the underwater world! do not touch corals or chase sea creatures! Not only because touching them is not nice but also because some species are toxic. Skin contact with poisonous species can cause severe allergic reactions, in worst cases you can end up in hospital. Keep safe distance from marine life! If you must stand on in the water, search a sandy place or a big stone, never stand on corals!
If you like our snorkeling safety tips, share them with your friends! We wish you safe snorkeling holidays!
Anett fell in love with the ocean immediately when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea back in 2010. Discovering megacities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. She has a big interest in exploring the world’s last hidden underwater paradises and marine conservation. She hopes to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!