Snorkeling is one of the most extraordinary experiences as you get to see in the open ocean the brightly colored tropical fish.  There are more colors and varieties than you can possibly imagine!  Add to that snorkeling is something as simple as putting on a mask and a breathing tube and swim away.  It’s easy for anyone to do.  Yet unfortunately snorkeling can be the number one safety issue for tourists.

snorkeling big island hawaiiWhat is Snorkeling?

Snorkeling is simply putting a mask on that is connected to a tube.  The tube makes it so you can breathe and works to prevent water from coming back down the tube.  Snorkeling is something that is done while swimming on the surface of the water.  It is not meant for underwater breathing.

How Can I Be Safe Snorkeling?

The biggest issue with snorkeling is that it takes a little bit more effort to breathe through the tube.  Those with asthma or compromised with other breathing issues may find it a challenge.  The biggest risk of snorkeling is panic.  Sometimes if someone gets a bit of water in their mouth they can get scared.  Here are some tips to mitigate some of this risks:

  1.  Snorkel with a buddy.  The buddy system is one that is highly valued in any open ocean environment.  If there is trouble a friend can help out or signal for rescue.  Make sure to always swim with a friend nearby.
  2. Practice in shallow water first.  Snorkeling for the first time takes something to get used to.  Swim in water where you can touch ground when you are first starting out.  There are still fish and even turtles in shallow water.
  3. Wear reef shoes.  Reef shoes are almost a must.  The coral and bottom of the ocean floor are filled with things that can slice your feet.  Reef shoes are cheap and when you have an emergency need for good footing, you want to be able to stand without hurting yourself.
  4. Wear a Life Jacket.  A life jacket can be the difference between safety and drowning.  There are some life jackets less bulky then others but take the time to prioritize safety.

In the Big island of Hawaii where is the Safest Place to Learn How to Snorkel?puffer fish

If you want a shallow water area to first learn snorkeling try Children’s Beach on the Kona coast.  The waters are fairly shallow and the fish and turtles are present in number.  They also have life guards on duty in case you run into difficulties.

Is Snorkeling Safe?

Snorkeling is actually quite safe.  But if you are newcomer or even an experienced swimmer and snorkeler, make sure to take necessary safety precautions.  Snorkeling is very worth it but safety is always your number one priority.  Don’t hold back but also be aware, be wise and be safe.