Snorkeling is the most popular and enjoyable water activity. Many people even without good swimming skills are signing up for snorkeling tours to explore the unknown underwater world. It is believed to be the safest water activity as well.
But with a few steps you can make it even safer!
When you go snorkeling with a tour, usually the guide is responsible for the safety, constantly keeping an eye on all of the people he brought to the spot. Moreover, he is always ready to provide necessary assistance in case of need.
Because in the open water, even if you are a confident swimmer, you are not 100% safe. In the case of dizziness or some bad feeling if you are on land – you can take care of yourself without any side assistance. However, in the water, where you cannot even stand, in case of a problem, you need someone to help you.
Besides, let’s be honest, it’s much more fun to snorkel with friends.
SAFETY RULE # 1 – When you are in the water, someone should be watching you.
The next aspect I would like to highlight is importance of to be visible in the sea.
When you swim, face down, fully focused on the beauty of the coral reef with your black snorkel next to your dark-haired head, how do you think the passing boats would know you are there?
Even if you are snorkeling in the area with a little boat traffic, there is still a chance for bad luck, when there will be the only one boat driving by and it potentially can hit you.
There is a very easy way you can protect yourself – be bright!
Bright neon color snorkel, bright red, yellow, or pink, whatever color except blue and black, rash guard or t-shirt will increase your chances to be spotted by a captain from far away!
Moreover, if you plan to snorkel in the area with heavy boat traffic, it is much better to have some kind of floating device. They are usually also bright red, yellow or orange. Or, if you don’t have any, – then even your bright color dry bag filled with air and sealed can work well.
SAFETY RULE # 2 – be visible in the sea.
The 3d rule will be about your buoyancy in the water.
Someone after finishing scuba or freediving courses learned that weight belt is a helpful device for maintaining the buoyancy underwater. Well, yes, it is much easier to dive down with a few extra kilos around your waist. However, it is much more difficult to float on a surface with those extra kilos. In scuba you had a buoyancy jacket to compensate the weight on a surface, right? In freediving you have to be positively buoyant on a surface even after the passive exhale, don’t you? So leave the weight belt alone – you do not need it for snorkeling, as you don’t want to struggle with the negative buoyancy on the surface.
SAFETY RULE #3 – be positive on the surface
Further rules go mostly for advanced snorkelers as they deal about some freediving while snorkeling, but because it is a tiny step from beginner snorkeler to the advanced, no matter how good you are now, I would recommend you to finish this article.
No wonder that after a while during the snorkeling you want to have a closer look at some cute underwater habitats. You make a deep big breath on a surface and you dive.
Do you know what you might forget to do?
You might forget to remove the snorkel from your mouth before the dive. This is a typical mistake even for scuba professionals. Or maybe, it’s just because they feel more relaxed underwater with something in their mouths…who knows.
Why would you need to remove the snorkel before the dive if you can easily blow into it to clean after ascend?
- you don’t want to waste time and energy for it
- it might be potentially dangerous
- There is a chance of inhaling water from the tube.
If you ever decide to take a freediving course, your instructor will explain to you in detail, why diving with a snorkel in the mouth could be dangerous.
Imagine yourself swimming up from your dive, you are already a bit out of breath, but still ok, you blow to clean your snorkel, and you fail to clean all the water from it, so you still have water in… and now you are totally out of breath. Doesn’t sound good, right?
SAFETY RULE #4 – always removes the snorkel before a dive
And the last rule – don’t exhale underwater.
If you have seen in the videos that some experienced freedivers exhale just before they break the surface – don’t repeat this. This is really the advanced technique and if you are not the same level of experience as someone diving to at least 80 meters, please, don’t repeat it.
Exhaling underwater has no benefits, but it can lead to unconsciousness or to damage of your lungs.
SAFETY RULE #5 – don’t exhale underwater
And before I finish I would like to make sure that when you start some freediving while you are snorkeling, you remember to equalize your ears.
Freediving equalization is quite a complicated thing. And some people need time to master it. When you take a freediving course a big part of the course is dedicated to this topic. But if for some reason you prefer to skip the freediving course, at least remember – you do not continue to descend if you have an uncomfortable feeling, or especially pain, in your ears or forehead or anywhere else. Diving with pain may cause eardrum rapture. It will heal after a while as our bodies are perfectly designed for self-renovations, still, you prefer not to damage yourself. Right? To learn more about equalization check our video about it.
By Svitlana Gaidai