Copyright 2006 Rob Daniels
Snorkeling is a great way to introduce yourself to the ocean. But like any sport/activity, it is important to be aware of basic safety rules to ensure that your snorkeling experience is enjoyable.
Choose calm conditions to enjoy a safer snorkel. Make sure the water and weather conditions are safe. One day the waves can be a meter high, and the next day the water is still. Calm water will make the snorkeling experience more enjoyable especially for beginners. Typically, a morning snorkel is best, while afternoon snorkeling may have more of a current and sea breeze.
It is important that the snorkeling equipment properly fits snorkelers. Choose a pair of swim fins that fit your feet comfortably and a snorkel that will fit easily in to your mouth. Fins that are too large will often slip off swimmers feet when they are swimming. Masks that do not properly fit will often allow water in.
The best thing anyone can do to stay safe around the water is to learn to swim. While non-swimmers can snorkel using a life vest, it is generally a better snorkeling trip when able to swim. While snorkeling, it is important to keep your bearings. Following fish can be a fun pursuit, but be careful not to swim to far from the shore or boat. It is also important to be aware of any current; if you feel yourself drifting to far from other snorkelers or the boat be sure to signal others.
Study the Site
Prior to diving find out the potential problems or conditions that surround a specific dive site. If the particular site is well-known for the waves, currents, shallow spots, difficult entries or exits be sure to wear a life jacket. Being aware of your environment prior to snorkeling will mean that you can focus on snorkeling when you are in the water.
Do Not Touch
Don’t put bare hands into crevices or holes. Never touch, handle or feed marine life except under expert guidance and following locally-established guidelines. Where possible, walk on bare surfaces to avoid trampling marine life.
Learn the Basics
Learn how to clear water from the snorkel and learn how to put your mask back on when you tread water. It is important that even beginners know how to clear water at the surface and resume free breathing without removing snorkel their mouth.
Take your garbage home with you, especially things that require special disposal, such as batteries. Be respectful of the environment so that others to can continue to share the beauty and fascination of the underwater world.
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