Maui Snorkeling Safety — Use a Flotation Device
Anytime you enter the ocean there are hazards. Be smart, play it safe, and use good judgment. Also recognize the single biggest danger while snorkeling in Maui is drowning. While not as sensational as a shark encounter, drownings in Maui are not rare and claim many more lives. So before you enter the water, be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you're planning to snorkel in Maui and your swimming skills aren’t the best, you should always use a flotation device. Your enjoyment and safety will increase dramatically. Even with snorkel gear, it’s easy for an inexperienced swimmer to give-in to irrational fears and begin having difficulty in the water, particularly if ocean conditions change or fatigue sets in. Using a flotation device will give you extra buoyancy, help keep you safe, and put those fears to rest. It can also provide better maneuverability in tight or shallow spots—an added benefit to the coral.
A variety of flotation devices are available for snorkelers in Maui, ranging from foam noodles, to snorkel belts and traditional life vests. For some, a foam noodle held under the arms and across the chest can often be enough to put a person at ease. A life vest can be even better since it requires little thought or hassle once you've put it on. You don't have to hang onto it or keep track of it, and it can't get pulled away or lost should ocean conditions change. For inexperienced swimmers, having just one "scary moment" in the water can change a positive attitude about snorkeling to a negative one. So be sure to plan ahead and bring along a flotation device for those in your group who need a little extra swimming assistance.
For more safety and snorkeling tips in Maui, check back often and pick up a copy of Mask Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling. Happy Snorkeling!