People can drown in both fresh water and salt water. When swimming, you should be aware of your surroundings and know how to get out of the water if you need to. If you are snorkeling, you should only do so in areas where there are lifeguards.
Drowning is a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, and three quarters of drowning victims are children 14 and younger. Snorkeling can be a dangerous activity if the proper safety precautions are not taken. Every year, there are reports of snorkelers who have drowned while vacationing in paradise.
In 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of 34 deaths and nearly 1,900 injuries associated with swim devices, including life jackets, pool noodles, and inflatable rafts. Of the 34 deaths reported to the CPSC, 13 were from drowning and 21 from submersion in water (meaning the person was found submerged and unresponsive).
Drowning is a leading cause of death for children under five, and the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 14. According to the CDC, about one in five people who die from drowning are children under 14. Drowning is preventable.
There are many different causes of drowning. Some drownings are accidental, and some are intentional. However, the vast majority of drownings are preventable.
Some common causes of drowning include:
- Lack of swimming ability
- Lack of supervision
- Alcohol use
- Drug use
- Heart conditions
- Marine Life
Although most people think of snorkeling as a relatively safe activity, there are actually a few dangers that you should be aware of before you venture out into the open water. The first danger is the possibility of getting stung by a jellyfish or other poisonous creature.
Despite their reputation, sharks aren’t the most common cause of death by marine animals. In fact, according to the International Shark Attack File, there were only 66 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide in 2017, and only five of them were fatal. To put that into perspective, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning (in the U.S., there are an average of six deaths and 54 injuries per year) or to die from a bee sting (about 62 people in the U.S. per year).
Still, it’s understandable that sharks can be alarming — they are large, they have plenty of sharp teeth and they have been known to attack humans. If you’re planning on snorkeling or swimming in areas where sharks might be present, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of encounter:
Jellyfish are free-swimming marine invertebrates of the class Scyphozoa, belonging to the phylum Cnidaria. They are mainly found in pelagic waters of the open ocean, though some are found in freshwater and coastal habitats. The body plan of most jellyfish is a concave disk with a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bells and numerous long, slender tentacles that hang down from the bell’s edge. Some species of jellyfish can grow up to 2 meters (6.6 ft) in diameter. Most bell-shaped jellyfish occur in shallow, coastal waters, but some medusae live at great depths, as deep as 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) below the surface.
Yes, there are some risks associated with snorkeling. These risks include getting stung by a jellyfish, getting caught in a rip current, or drowning. However, these risks can be minimized by following some simple safety guidelines.
While most people think of sunburn as a minor inconvenience, it is actually a serious risks associated with snorkeling. Because you are in the water for long periods of time, you are exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays for an extended period of time. This can lead to severe sunburn, which can increase your risk for skin cancer.
While swimming and floating in the ocean, it’s easy to forget to drink water. But just like any other physical activity, snorkeling can dehydrate you. The sun, salt water, and wind all contribute to dehydration, so it’s important to drink plenty of water both before and after your snorkeling adventure. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, lightheadedness, dry mouth, and low urine output. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to stop snorkeling and rehydrate immediately.