Guide, Recreation and Sports

Mask Safety And Proper Safety Signals For Snorkeling Or Diving

When snorkeling or skin diving, never put your mask on your forehead unless you are willing to lose it or want to be rescued. When your mask is on your forehead there is a good chance that the next wave that comes along will knock it off your head and you will lose it. In addition, when snorkelers and divers are in distress, the first thing they usually will do is place the mask on their forehead. 

Putting your mask on your forehead is like waving a red flag to any dive master or lifeguard who happens to see you in this position. They will instantly assume you are in trouble and will usually enter the water immediately to come rescue you. 

You need to take various safety measures when it comes to an excursion of diving and snorkeling as fire and water are two things that have to be handled carefully. While they are useful in our daily lives, they cause serious damage when they get out of control and this is one such occasion so it is important to have the best snorkel and mask so that they can provide protection from not only water but the wild aquatic animals lying in the depths of sea, waiting for potential preys to feed upon. 

If you want to remove your mask while you are in the water, slide it around your neck. This will help keep you from losing it. 

Whether you snorkel from a boat or shore, there are usually people around to oversee your activity and help ensure your safety. On a charter snorkeling boat, there will frequently be a person designated as the “dive master” who is there to ensure that everyone follows the proper safety procedures and has a good time. On the beach, there will often be a lifeguard. 

As a snorkeler, the dive master or lifeguard will sometimes signal you at a distance to check to see if you are okay. There are two ways for them to signal to you and for you to respond properly. One technique is to take one of your arms and elevate it as high as possible to your side, out of the water, placing your hand on your head. This forms a large “O” for “okay.” This is both a question and an answer. If the dive master gives you this signal, you should respond with the same signal, as long as you are okay. 

Another method for signaling “okay” is to lift both your arms over your head, out of the water, and clasp your hands together, which also forms a big “O,” indicating you are okay. Again, this is both a question and an answer. 

To signal that you need help in the water, look at the boat or shore, lift your arm as high as it will go, and wave your closed fist. This is a sign that you need immediate assistance. Of course, this signal only works if people are looking in your direction. If they are looking elsewhere, you will need to use a whistle to attract attention. 

Never wave at people on the boat or on the beach, because this movement looks similar to the signal for help. It’s embarrassing to have someone come rescue you if you don’t really need it. 

If you regularly snorkel in remote locations, you may want to purchase an inflatable tube that can be used as a signaling device. Dive shops sell these under various names, such as “Scuba Tuba” and “Safety Sausage.”