Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
risks & avoiding them
hazards & injuries
Injuries from snorkeling
Some of the common injuries that are characteristic for snorkeling or diving include drowning, barotrauma, suffocation, bites, stings, sunburns, and hypothermia.
Rocks can be dangerous source of many snorkeling injuries, so try to stay away from the rocks while snorkeling. You can get injured even before actually starting snorkeling, if you are knocked down or swept off by an unexpected wave or surge while standing on a rock still intending to enter the water. Such injuries often result in death.
Skin cuts from rock and coral. These can lead to serious infection, since live coral and some sea creatures inhabiting rocks, like mollusks, shrimps, crustaceans, echinoderms, sponges etc. can contain harmful bacteria that could penetrate into your body through skin wounds and cuts.
Injuries from jellyfish stings. Out of 200 jellyfish species known world-wide, the majority are only slightly toxic. Nonetheless, even if casual contact with a jellyfish in water rarely pose serious danger to your life or health, it is important to know that often pieces of tentacles remain on the skin after contact, and they can continue to release poison into the skin for several hours. Injuries from jellyfish stings can pose poison hazard requiring medical treatment.
Snorkeling injuries due to poor visibility above the water and hazardous weather conditions. Poor visibility above the water might put you in danger of losing the sight of your boat or the shoreline, getting lost, and ultimately lead you to exhaustion and in the worst case getting drowned.
Seaweed entanglement might lead to drowning or suffocation. Carrying an underwater knife helps. Learn other simple ways to free yourself from seaweed with instructor before going snorkeling.
Aquatic wildlife encounters. Bites, stings and kicks from sea mammals, fish, sharks and other sea animals whose defensiveness can expose snorkeler to their attack resulting in injury.
Barotrauma. Never exhale while surfacing, it may lead you to barotrauma and loosing consciousness threatening your life.
Sunburns. Experienced snorkelers are well aware of the need of protecting their body from being exposed to the sun rays. To avoid severe sunburn, care to put on something like vest even on a cloudy day.
Hypothermia. Cold water itself poses danger, which is surprisingly often overlooked. Getting over chilled can lead to muscle spasms and possibly death. Always verify that water temperature meets your set conditions during your whole snorkeling session.