Is snorkeling dangerous

Is snorkeling dangerous? Easy 17 tips for your safety and comfort

Follow these tips to avoid mistakes in Snorkeling
Snorkeling is one of the most fun and relaxing water sports on the entire planet. Over 8.38 million people participate in Snorkeling in the ocean each year in the US.

If you are new to Snorkeling, you might have some thoughts about Snorkeling, like, is snorkeling dangerous? What equipment is required for Snorkeling? How do I safe snorkel? Can I go Snorkeling if I can’t swim? How does Snorkeling work?

Snorkeling is one of the most popular ways to get in the water and explore the incredible marine life and expensive coral reefs. In safe Snorkeling, you can spend memorable moments of life with these beautiful marine creatures made by God. And it’s way less costly than scuba diving, making it accessible to almost everyone.

In this article, we will talk about queries in your mind regarding safe Snorkeling. And also, I will provide you with extra resources to get to know more about Snorkeling. I will give you some tips at the end to make you feel safe and comfortable Snorkeling.


First of all, we will talk about safe Snorkeling.
Although Snorkeling is one of the most famous water sports, it does have some dangers and hazards too. All you have to do is to get to know about the dangers of Snorkeling. You should avoid such risks that relate to Snorkeling or get prepared to deal with them.

To be honest, Snorkeling has some severe dangers like fluctuating water currents and waves, dangerous marine life like sharks, etc., equipment problems, and health issues. These are some major risks of Snorkeling that have caused deaths.

Severe accidents like deaths are infrequent in Snorkeling. According to one study in Australia, we have found that an average of about 11 snorkelers face death each year on the continent, with over 2.2 million snorkelers on the Great Barrier Reef in 2007. Death case by Snorkeling is rarely reported, so we may consider it a safe activity.

Is snorkeling dangerous? Snorkeling can be hazardous for beginners with zero experience in Snorkeling or a person with severe health conditions. Snorkeling dangers may include water currents, harmful marine life, equipment failure, dehydration, sun damage and over-heating, and Scary objects in the ocean. Severe health conditions like heart and lung diseases, panic attacks, and hypothermia are involved. All these dangers can be avoided if you follow proper guidelines and expert instructions.

It is always recommended that beginners must take some lessons and hire a professional snorkel guide who can prepare them for Snorkeling. Here are some tips you must follow to make your snorkeling adventure safe and comfortable.

1. Watch Out for Your Swimming Abilities

Swimming skill is essential for a person. If you think I can go Snorkeling if I can’t swim? Then the answer is yes. But it depends on the place you want to snorkel. If you want to snorkel in the shallow water, it is okay if you have fewer swimming skills. But to snorkel in the ocean is different from Snorkeling in the pool. This means you need more experience and more advanced swimming skills if you snorkel in the deep oceans.

Snorkeling in the deep oceans is challenging because only advanced swimming skills are needed to swim with ocean currents, surf, and deal with other ocean factors.

So you should judge your swimming skills before selecting an area for Snorkeling.

2. Use Floatation Whenever Needed

Do you wear a life jacket when snorkeling? A life jacket is a flotation device used in Snorkeling if you are a beginner. It is a standard way for beginners to get in the water and snorkel. If you are not very confident in your ocean swimming ability, you can wear a life vest for Snorkeling. In this way, you would be able to improve your swimming and snorkeling ability.

Pro tip: Start with hiring a professional snorkel guide who can teach you everything you need to know before you start your incredible snorkeling journey. (In most countries like Mexico, life vests are specific for everyone for tours in the ocean).

Snorkeling with a life jacket can help you to enhance your confidence.

3. Keep Record Of Your Health And Fitness.

Swimming is a healthy activity that acts more on the body muscles than any other outdoor sport. You have to surf and swim in the ocean water with your total energy. So it is essential to keep yourself healthy and fit.

Heart attacks and strokes are the primary reasons for the deaths in Snorkeling; this sport is hazardous for people having severe health issues. It directly affects the heart and lungs. In this situation, you must visit your doctor before going to snorkel to ensure that you are fit and healthy to get in the water.

4. Check The Water Conditions

The ocean is a compelling and beautiful place. Snorkelers at the beginner level may be surprised by the heavy and high powers of ocean currents. Even sometimes, they get caught in the high tides and other dangerous situations.

So it is essential to check the water conditions before going on snorkel. If water conditions are good enough for your situation, snorkel would be fun. And if water conditions are not favorable, then it is better to avoid Snorkeling at that time. It could be dangerous for your life.

One of the best ways to measure the water conditions is to look out for the beach warning flags system. At many hotels or public beaches in the world, you will find a small flag pole with various colored flags depending upon what are the ocean’s conditions are like.

Two red flags are usually considered as water is so dangerous that it should be closed to the public. One red flag means water condition is at high risk, i.e., high surfs and strong currents.

One yellow flag illustrates the medium hazard, i.e., moderate surfs and currents. A purple flag means dangerous marine life. While a green flag demonstrates waters are relatively calm and there are low surfs.

Understanding the common beach warning flags can help you understand the water conditions. [Source]

Beginner snorkelers are recommended to snorkel in the green flag area. And if you can’t see any flag on the beach or if there is no flag on the beach means, it is not guaranteed that the water is safe or not. For more information, you may ask any lifeguard at the beach office.

5. Beware of Dangerous Waters

You should avoid dangerous waters. Avoiding the dangers of water is not only limited to water conditions like surfs and currents, but it also includes difficult marine life like Box jellyfish, Pufferfish, stingrays, etc.

If you see a purple flag on the beach, it would be a warning for you to beware of the dangerous marine life and avoid that water area.

And it is also recommended to inquire about t the beach area. They will let you know all the reality about that place. For example, a shark or any other dangerous marine life has been seen recently or not. Or if there is any rock that is hidden due to high tide. It will help you a lot.

6. Select the Right Equipment for you

Using the right equipment is essential in Snorkeling. It depends upon your swimming skills. If you are a beginner swimmer, then you will need different equipment as compared to what you need as an advanced swimmer.

Just like any other equipment, this snorkel equipment also has potential errors.

This equipment failure becomes even more, worse inside the water when you are snorkeling.

Some people rent snorkeling equipment. But they don’t know the exact conditions of the equipment before using it. It’s better to buy your snorkeling equipment so you can maintain it carefully.

The first thing you need in snorkel equipment is a snorkel mask. Look for a show that fits snugly, is comfortable, and doesn’t leak.

A snorkel mask that fits well can help you stay safer in the water.

Traditionally there was only one option for a snorkeling mask. It has a breathing tube and a mouthpiece. But nowadays, the options have widened, and you can buy many other types of snorkeling masks according to your choice.

A dry snorkel mask is a type of snorkel that looks very similar to a traditional snorkel, but it works differently. Instead of an open-end breathing tube, there is only a one-way valve on the top of the mask that keeps unwanted water outside while allowing the snorkeler to breathe normally.

Dry snorkeling tubes always had been an advent for beginner snorkelers. It allows the users to pay less focus on managing water and more on Snorkeling and enjoying the experience. Dry snorkelers are not 100% foolproof but are a massive improvement over traditional snorkel tubes.
Try my favorite Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2 (Amazon) dry snorkel mask. It has excellent dry valves.

It is beneficial in longer snorkel sessions because of its comfortable mouthpiece. It is well structured and lightweight.

You can add fins to your snorkel kit also. Using fins, you can move faster in the water. It will consume more of your energy. Make sure not to use fully-advanced fins if you are a beginner.

You can use simple and casual snorkeling fins because fully-advanced fins will have much more to manage that a beginner cannot do so. And also you can buy casual-snorkeling fins at reasonable prices.

Using a Flotation device like a snorkel vest or life jacket adds more fun to your snorkeling adventure. You will feel more secure and comfortable. It will help you lift your shoulders.

Make sure to have a wetsuit rated for the weather conditions. You can comfortably snorkel in warm tropical waters, but when the water temperature starts to cool, you will need a wet suit to deal with it.

Defogging your mask screen or mirror is more important. So you can enjoy incredible marine life. You can use a defogging spray. You can use simple baby shampoo and water mixture cleanser.

7. Knowledge about your equipment

Snorkeling equipment is not a big deal but having some knowledge about snorkeling equipment matters. If you have selected the right equipment, ensure you know how it works. Try your snorkel device at the shore. Take some time to fit everything and check if it works well.

Make sure you can use all the devices comfortably, and you can breathe freely while wearing the snorkel mask. Your wet suit, fins, and life jacket must fit well. Check your mask strap if it’s not irritating for you.

After checking all the equipment, it’s essential to test the devices in shallow waters, float around the water a little to see how everything feels, and make sure there is no leak in the mask.

If you find any problem with the mask, get back to the shore and adjust it as needed.

Take some time to check how your snorkel equipment fits and works before getting into the water.

8. Practice dealing with the water

To snorkel more safely, dealing with unexpected water waves is one of the most essential skills. When you use a well-fitting snorkel mask and a dry snorkel, you will have to deal less with intruding water. But you have to be ready to manage the water.

A few drops of water don’t bother you much, but if you feel more of it, you have to clear out your mask. Some of these masks have purge valves on the side of the mask, and you can just hold your mask firmly against your face and blow out your nose to force intruding water out of the mask.

And if your mask doesn’t have any valve, you can use the traditional way to clear the water. Just keep your head above the waterline and lift the bottom of the snorkel mask, wiggle it a little, and let the water run out of the mask.

Many snorkel masks have their purge valve version. It looks like a small reservoir that extends the bottom where the tube curves into your mouth. And it allows you to blow into it and force water from the bottom of the purge valve.

For snorkelers without a purge valve, You have to tread the water with your head above the waterline. Just slightly tilt your head and eject all the water from the mask.

No matter what type you have of a snorkel mask, All you have to do is practice this water ejection technique in the shallow waters before going into the oceans. Most of the problems occur when a person is not prepared for the surprising water interruption during Snorkeling. Practice makes it best. It will help you a lot to stay safe.

9. Always snorkel with a friend.

If you are a beginner and still learning to snorkel, It is always recommended that you always snorkel with a group of friends. You will feel more secure and trustworthy. Snorkeling with buddies always enhances your confidence.

Stay in shallow water and stay close to your buddy. Snorkeling alone could be the most crucial mistake for you. If you suddenly have any problem and are snorkeling alone, you are pretty much stuck in the waters. It could be a killing and harmful experience for you. But if you have a group of friends near you, they could help you a lot and save your life.

To make snorkeling a social activity, it is suggested if you are a beginner, you should start snorkeling with your expert snorkeler friends. They will help you and take care of you in any case.

Always make sure to snorkel with buddies.

10. Keep visual Contact

When you go Snorkeling with your friends or a group of expert snorkelers, Make sure to keep an eye on them. It is essential that you can see them and they can see you.

The idea of Snorkeling with a group doesn’t work pretty much if you get too separated from your group of friends. Make sure you can see them and give them a red signal in any emergency.

The next thing is to keep an eye on any landmark or boat, whatever it is near you. Sometimes you float inside the water and get too separated from your group or the shore. Make sure always to stay closer to your group of friends or the landmark near you.

11. Do not touch anything underwater.

There’s so much to see underwater, but make sure not to touch anything to keep you and it as healthy as possible.

There in the underwater world, marine life has its ecosystem. It is very important not to disturb them. It is suggested that you should keep your hands to yourself. And DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. Anything means Corals, fishes, turtles, etc. And do not feed anything to fish because it will make their behavior aggressive.

There are thousands of years old Corals that make enchanted colonies. When you get into the water, you will see so much inside the water.

Corals are very rare, and it takes several years to regrow once it is damaged. Corals are sharp, and you might get a cut while touching them; it spreads hazardous infections. So it’s better to stay away from such dangerous species.

There are more than 300 different species in the oceans. Doing Snorkeling, you may experience many species like sea turtles, whale sharks, dolphins, and many other massive mammals. They make their ecosystem. Don’t ever try to feed them or touch them. It will make them aggressive.

Most of the marine life is usually adapted to their ecosystem. So it would be very disrespectful to touch them and disturb them. It is advised to take pictures and enjoy their beautiful color patterns and views without disturbing them.

12. Inquire about Locality

Although you can learn so much about the area of the beach by the warning flags and by researching its conditions online, there are also more ways you should adopt to know more about the snorkeling area.

One of the best methods to learn more about an area is to inquire or ask local people about the place.

They know a lot more than anybody else because they live there and enjoy water and Snorkeling as a daily part of life. You can inquire from the hotel managers, diving tools shop owners, snorkelers and scuba divers, and lifeguards.

They are a great resource of information on sharing their experiences about diving, Snorkeling, and fighting the dangers of life.

13. Using Sun Protection

Sun protection is a must when you think about Snorkeling and beach trips. It is not very common to snorkel in the water for an hour or two. But if you snorkel without sun protection in the water, your skin, shoulders, back, and neck would be damaged by the UV rays of the sun.

In simple words, sunscreen is a protection for your skin. There are two things that you have to focus on while purchasing sunscreen. It should be reef safe and water-resistant. You should use a water-resistant sunscreen because if your sunscreen washes off with the water, it will not work for you.

Another thing you should focus on is the sunscreen must be reef safe. Reef-safe sunscreens are important because these sunscreens have been linked to significant damage to coral reefs and marine life.

You should use sunscreen that covers well and is biodegradable. Checking a sunscreen’s SPF is a must.

During Snorkeling, I also suggest you wear a rash guard. It works like a water-resistant shirt. Rash guards provide you with complete sun protection across your shoulder and back, which means you do not have to use sunscreen overall.

It also works as an insulator and maintains your body temperature according to the water temperature. Rash guards provide more freedom of movement throughout the arms to swim in the waters.

14. Keep yourself Hydrated and Energized.

Snorkeling is a full-body workout that involves arms, legs, and your whole body. You might never realize it, but you will sweat a lot during Snorkeling. In workouts, people burn a lot of calories. So did Snorkeling.

Just keep yourself hydrated and eat enough food never to feel low energy levels. If you are hydrated enough and energized, you will enjoy Snorkeling and swimming.

Pro Tip: It’s a tip to remember that always eat an hour before you swim. It will prevent you from unnecessary cramps.

15. Check out the weather before Snorkeling.

Once you have collected all the necessary equipment and tools to snorkel, checked everything about the area and Snorkeling place, and got everything you need to know about water conditions, one more thing that is important to look out for is the weather.

It is a smart move to check for the weather forecast before going on snorkel. If the weather conditions are not suitable, it is best to wait for another day to snorkel.

Poor weather conditions involve thunder, rains, lightning, and inappropriate winds. Many areas have online surf reports that you can check before going snorkeling.

Surf reports will help you determine when to avoid going into the waters. Staying onshore and checking the weather forecast is much more beneficial than going offshore without keeping checking on it.

16. Book A Tour

Taking a snorkel tour with a licensed operator will assure your security and you will get instructions as well as a boat to far-off snorkel spots, and searching and booking online through Viator has made finding a tour way easier.

Booking a licensed snorkeling tour is highly recommended for beginner snorkelers. It is the best idea to start your snorkeling journey. If you are not confident and professional about your snorkeling skills, it’s better to take a licensed snorkeling tour. In this way, professional snorkel tour guides can help you out a lot.

They can keep an eye on you during Snorkeling and will guide you thoroughly where and whenever it is needed.

And the tour guides also have boats to take you to a safe place for Snorkeling. They better know everything about the water conditions and the best areas for snorkeling with shallow waters and incredible beauty.

You can check out the internet for professional snorkeling tours. I suggest you should browse Viator. It’s pretty easy to enter your information in the form. And is very simple to punch in your required dates and check out what tours are available on your comfortable dates. Check the site’s reviews and book the tour by yourself.

17. Enjoy the Snorkeling Party

Suppose you are a person who loves to keep records of everything, like what to do and what not to do. But always remember not to stick your mind on do’s and not to do’s on the list.

Snorkeling is an incredible experience. There is much more in the ocean to explore and enjoy. So don’t waste much time thinking pros and cons. Just enjoy the party. Take a moment to look around and get in the water.

Lastly, if you are looking for tips to see what mistakes you are making while snorkeling or while looking for a place to snorkel, this article would be very helpful to you.

Don’t forget to let yourself enjoy and have a lot of fun out on the water!


Snorkeling is an incredible sport in which a person enjoys amazing and unique experiences. You can make beautiful memories alongside the amazing marine life in the sea. Like all other sports activities, it comes with its pros and cons. You can explore so many hidden treasures in the lap of the sea. But some dangers must be avoided.

Snorkeling safety is much important to a person. It includes proper safety equipment, choosing a safe snorkeling area, training, and health and safety precautions.

There are many risks associated with this Snorkeling, but these risks and dangers could be minimized if we adopt proper and professional guidelines. Only by avoiding these risks, starting small practices, being honest with yourself, and taking responsibility for what you are ready to do. Only get in the water when you are ready to dive in. If you are not ready, just stay out of the water and keep practicing.

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