Snorkeling is easy. Recognizing a rip tide or current can be hard. Also, jumping off a dive boat can be tricky, too.
If you get caught in a rip current, or rip tide, diving fins will only help you so much. Learning how to snorkel safely is a matter of keeping a close eye on currents. You can’t just jump in willy-nilly. In fact leave willy and nilly at home when it comes to snorkeling. You have to take it slow!
You have to pay constant attention to how far you’ve swam, how far back you have to go, and when you enter the water, determining if you are being taken anywhere by the currents.
A good way to do this is to mark your dive area with something permanent on the shore, a lifeguard station, for instance. You’ll be able to see it better if you have a prescription dive mask for near-sightedness. If the lifeguard station was right in front of you when you began snorkeling, and it is now at least a mile down the beach, the chances are you are being swept away by a rip tide. It is unlikely somebody moved the lifeguard station up or down the beach while you were snorkeling, which leaves only one reason. You are being swept away and might be close to drowning.
You can recognize a rip current from the beach. You will see white curly foam leading out to sea. Or, you will see a lifeguard rescuing a swimmer a mile out to sea. Snorkel tip #1: Don’t go snorkeling if you see a rip tide or lifeguard rescuing a swimmer a mile out to sea. These are sure-fire signs to stay put and don’t snorkel.
Learning to snorkel is easy. Learning how to jump out of a boat is hard. Once you have the basics down, learning to snorkel is pretty easy. There are lots of places to learn the basics, starting with the place you bought your snorkel and mask, either at a store or on line. We found a very good online discount dive equipment dealer. Once you are ready to jump into the ocean, here are some tips to make your snorkeling safer and more enjoyable.
Getting into and out of the water is the point at which you are probably at most risk to injury. If the water appears to be calm and clear, without any noticeable currents, and there is a nice, soft, sandy bottom: No problem. If it appears to be a rocky bottom, with lots of swirling currents and waves coming in: Problem.
Finally create a scenario as to how you like to don your snorkel gear including prescription mask. Believe it or not, this is a great way to let you concentrate on getting into the water safely.