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Seven Snorkeling Safety Tips for Beginners

Any sport can be hazardous, especially for beginners, mostly because they are unfamiliar with the possible dangerous. While snorkeling is not necessarily a high-risk activity, there might be water currents, wildlife, and coral reefs in your playground. You can lessen your chances of being a statistic by following these seven simple safety rules.

Dolphin Looking at You

Rule #1: Know How to Swim

Really, did I need to say that? Well, yes, I did. Snorkeling happens in water. If you don't know how to swim, you might just drown. If the water is calm, you might get away with wearing floaties, but if you plan to be a life-long snorkeler, you will soon find yourself outside of the kiddy pool. Check out your local "Y" or swim academy for swim lessons.

Rule #2: Snorkel with Your Buddy

Find a buddy who will have your back and who will either rescue you or call 911 if you get into trouble. Stay together and check in every few minutes while you're in the water.

Rule #3: Leave the Alcohol and Drugs Behind

Swimming while intoxicated or high increases your chances of drowning. And, don't expect your buddy to fish you out of the water if you're combative because you're tripping out. Sometimes, people drown while attempting to rescue someone else who is fighting back.

Rule #4: Stay Near the Shore

Floating on water can be calming and relaxing. As the time passes, you might not notice that you have floated a mile out from shore and no longer have the energy to swim back. Hopefully your buddy will have noticed long before this happens.

Rule #5: Understand Your Venue

Before going snorkeling, read up about the location for your next adventure. Find out what you will expect to see, what hazards are specific to that venue, and if there are any restrictions in place by local authorities. Are the shores rock, or is high surf expected? Are jellyfish in season? Are the whales migrating close to shore? Also, if there is no food and fresh water nearby, plan to bring your own from home.

Rule #6: Don't Touch

Again with mom? Yes! Don't touch the marine life. They have quills and gills and even teeth. Getting cut, stung, or bit isn't fun on dry land. Consider how much the salt water will sting. Ouch! Take only photos and leave the living creatures alone, including the coral, which is alive.

Rule #7: Wear Your Sunscreen

Just do it! Unless you're allergic, then talk with your doctor, or, consider wearing a full body suit with UV protection. Read more about sunscreens here...

Enjoy!

There are other safety tips you will learn along the way, from your friends and from your own experiences. Being aware of your surroundings and following these Seven Tips will help beginners have fun and will help you stay well for your next adventure! Now, check out our Learn How To Snorkel for Beginners page. And, enjoy your time in the water!

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