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Snorkeling For Safety

Safety is always the best idea when playing around watersports. Snorkeling can be done rather inexpensively with just a mask, snorkel, and fins. But don’t let this easy to do sport fool you into thinking safety concerns do not apply. Never swim alone, while in the ocean or in a pool, the buddy system is always the best way to make sure everyone remains safe.

Other safety practices that are good to follow are watch your surroundings and know the tides and currents. Pay attention to rocky outcrops and do not snorkel too near in case a large wave comes your way.

Snorkeling Works With The Buddy System

The best safety tip for snorkeling is to use the buddy system. Never snorkel alone, this is when the most accidents happen. When snorkeling in open water, especially when away from any lifeguard or other people you must continually check your surroundings. Always keep an eye on the surge of the reefs and rocks, it is easy to get pounded into these by the waves if you are not aware.

Also, you need to watch the undertow, the current and the surf. Keep an eye on the time, make sure that you or your buddy is not dehydrated and you still have the shoreline in view. This is yet another reason why snorkeling with a buddy makes more sense, and it is more fun.

Confident Swimmers

One of the most important snorkeling safety tip is to be a strong and confident swimmer. This way you will gain confidence more quickly in your snorkeling gear. An inflatable snorkeling vest with a whistle is a very good safety item too. This vest does not have to be inflated fully to be worn and is a great safety backup that can come in handy when needed.

Comfortable Snorkel Masks

Snorkeling masks are taking form in new designs that include half and whole face masks. The goggle masks that cover the nose and the eyes are also still available. These are more often found in sporting goods stores and are popular in the snorkels sets and combos.

Having a comfortable mask is imperative to safety as well. Good visibility and confidence that the mask will perform as needed is important to the snorkeler. Some leaking into the mask is natural but if it leaks too much it may be too tight or not tight enough.

Always prepare your mask before getting into the water. Prepare the lens with a solution that prevents the mask lens from fogging up. Then there is always the good old standby, spit. Just spit into the mask and rub it around the lenses and rinse gently. Place it on the face and see if the skirt of the mask, the plastic part that touches your face, is freely touching and will easily seal on your face by pushing the mask against your face.

You can also try sucking in through your nose to see if it will make a good suction. If it does then tighten the straps until they are comfortable and make sure no hair is between the mask and the face for a continued good seal.

Prepare Your Snorkel

When trying on your snorkel, make sure that your lips surround the mouthpiece comfortable. Many snorkels come with a soft silicone mouthpiece that will cause less jaw clenching and be more comfortable than a harder PVC plastic mouthpiece. If yours is uncomfortable you may need to see if you can replace the mouthpiece with a softer one.

After trying the mouthpiece it is time to attach it to mask. It should easily clip onto the mask and should feel comfortable when your face and mask are in the water. It may feel a little strange when not in the water since it is at a certain angle to stay up when snorkeling.

Snorkelers Should Stay Near The Shore

If caution is not taken, a snorkeler can get way too far from shore and either get caught up in a current or a flow and get taken too far from shore. The problem then is you will be too tired to swim all the way back to shore against the current.

If you do find yourself in that situation turn on to your back and relax in the sitting position with your head above the water. Also, try treading water for a few minutes then try swimming again, this may work if you are fighting a rough current or too strong a surf.

  • Don’t swim against the current rather, swim diagonally
  • Don’t swim at dusk or dawn, this is called gray light and is difficult to see
  • Don’t swim in low visibility or murky water
  • Don’t snorkel drunk
  • Don’t jump over waves, duck or dive under a breaking wave
  • Don’t forget to watch the sun exposure and minimize the damaging rays
  • All great reasons to use the buddy system for ultimate safety.

Right Snorkeling Fins

There are a few types of fins, full foot fins, and adjustable fins. Fins are sold in many different types too. They come in long fins, some say they provide more control than do the shorter fins. Fins also come with vent type side they call blades. These are great to travel with and some people feel that they are more comfortable. They also have a short fin that is great for travel.

If your fins are not completely comfortable, water socks may provide more comfort when wearing an adjustable fin. All can be difficult to get into the water with while wearing them. If you are getting into the water from the beach, a moon walk (walking backward, heel first) until you are waist deep will make it easier.

Be Attentive To Your Surroundings

It is very important to be aware of all of your surroundings. Know the tides and be careful not to get sucked out or trapped by them. Also, if you are too near to a rocky outcropping you can get plowed into them by a rogue wave.

Watch the currents too, if you can look down while underwater and you see a focused point below moving away when you are not moving, you may be in a current. At the least a current can make it hard to stay in one place and at the most it can take you out to sea if you are not observant.