Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular vacation activities and hobbies. Besides the well-known tropical waters, many people like to dive and swim in natural springs, lakes, and rivers. Snorkeling is especially easy for any member of the family. But there are a few safety rules to remember.
At The Water’s Surface
If you are diving in a lake or part of the ocean where there are boats, always leave a buoy floating with the “diver down” sign, indicating to boaters that someone is underwater in that spot. Then, do not leave the area you have marked. Snorkelers should also indicate their presence with floats or markers.
Always go scuba diving and snorkeling with at least one friend. If anything happens, one of you should be able to assist the other or go for help.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are water sports, so some people have to take certain precautions before diving in. Snorkelers should know how to swim, even if they are just floating with a lifejacket.
Diving, however, has more barriers. People with heart conditions should not dive. Diving deep into the water causes pressure on the body to increase. A well-trained diver knows to descend and ascend very slowly and to breathe regularly to prevent gasses from building up in the blood stream and causing serious injury. As a rule, take serious scuba diving lessons with certified instructors to ensure a fun, safe, dive.
Know Your Limits
On TV, we see intrepid divers and swimmers crossing the English Channel, snaking through underwater caves and other dangerous feats. But until you have years of experience and training, do not do something impetuous or unplanned.
Before you go in the water somewhere, find out as much as you can about the site. Scuba diving and snorkeling are even quite complimentary. If you and your buddies want to try a new dive site, reconnoiter it with snorkels. When you have planned a dive, stick to the plan. Do not swim into an underwater cave or dive into water that is too cold.
It is easy to prevent most scuba diving and snorkeling accidents and injuries by planning ahead, including checking equipment before diving, avoiding risks, and getting proper training.
In The Air
Finally, do not plan a flight until at least 24 hours after a scuba dive. It takes at least that long for your body to recover and be able to go through another pressure-change experience.