Chapter 7: AVOIDING PROBLEMS WHILE SNORKELING
Snorkeling and skin diving are adventures that take place in the outdoor environment, usually in the ocean or in a lake. Because these environments cannot be controlled, and because people make mistakes, accidents can and do occur. However, the number of snorkeling and skin diving accidents that happen each year is relatively small.
Almost all diving problems and accidents are avoidable when good judgment and safe diving practices are followed. In most instances, the key is prevention, by recognizing problems before they occur or as they develop.
COMMON WATERSPORT PROBLEMS
Sunburn is undoubtedly the most common problem that affects snorkelers and skin divers. It’s easy to forget that the sun is beating down on your back as you’re absorbed in watching a beautiful reef scene below you. As the warm water laps over your body, you just don’t realize how badly the sun is burning your skin.
Sunburn is easy to avoid, either through the use of waterproof sunblock or by wearing a dive skin or wetsuit. Although a T-shirt will provide protection for your back, it won’t protect the back of your legs or arms. Be sure to cover up so that you don’t ruin your vacation through too much sun.
Caution should be used when applying waterproof sunblock to your face to avoid getting it too close to your eyes. Many of these lotions and creams will irritate your eyes if you accidentally get it in them. Be sure to wait until the sunblock has dried completely before putting on your mask or going in the water. Most of these ointments and gels require application 30-60 minutes prior to sun exposure for best protection.
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