When traveling to tropical locations, many tourists enjoy snorkeling. The allure of taking a glimpse into the ocean is something that many people want to partake in.
Unfortunately, snorkeling can be dangerous. And an uptick in snorkeling-related deaths is raising concerns with tourists and safety experts.
Snorkeling is especially popular in Hawaii. On average, there are 17 snorkeling-related deaths in Hawaii each year. However, 2018 has already five snorkeling-related deaths.
Authorities are calling the rate of snorkeling deaths thus far in 2018 “unprecedented“.
What is causing the deaths?
Snorkeling is not a new sport – and there have always been risks associated with the activity.
So why have there been so many recent deaths associated with snorkeling?
Some experts believe that full-face snorkeling masks are to blame. These masks have only been available for two to three years, and many beginning snorkelers are purchasing them.
Problems can arise when carbon dioxide builds up in the mask. This can cause the user to lose consciousness or become disoriented. This can lead to drowning.
What can snorkelers do to keep themselves safe?
Experts are advising snorkelers to take frequent breaks. If snorkelers are feeling at all uncomfortable, they should immediately get out of the water.
Also, it is important for those snorkeling to know their limits. Individuals should proceed with extreme caution, especially those who are new to snorkeling.
Since there is a link between full-face snorkeling masks and snorkeler deaths, it is advisable for snorkelers to consider wearing traditional snorkeling masks. Snorkelers should also consider taking a snorkeling course to learn how to safely enjoy the sport.