Special thanks to Barela Art-Hawaii  for their generous support.

© A Little Green 2015

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OCEAN SAFETY HAWAII

The biggest danger you will face at the beach is the surf. If the seas are not calm, you probably shouldn’t go in the water. If you observe a rip current, you probably shouldn’t go in the water. If you aren't a comfortable swimmer, you should never go in the water except at those beaches that have lifeguards.

  • Always use the Buddy System

  • Never turn your back to the water

  • Always pay attention to the lifeguards- listen & ask questions

  • Watch the water for at least 15 minutes before entering

    • look for rip currents

    • watch for waves

    • look for other swimmers- if there are none, you should not go out

  • Read all beach warning signs & do not ignore them- they will save your life

  • Always go under the waves

  • When boogie boarding

    • try and go left or right- 

    • never go straight

    • use good judgement- if its too big, don't go out

 

Don’t overdo your water sports activities. The combination of noise wind, motion, sun and glare can lead to serious fatigue and double your reaction time. If you choose to drink an alcoholic beverage, that may be intensified.  Please drink responsibly & follow these tips to stay safe: 

  • Enjoy food with your alcoholic beverages, don't drink on an empty stomach.

  • Before you go out on the water, choose a designated operator to ensure everyone in your group gets back to the dock safely.

  • Remember that sun, wind and vibration and water motion can increase the effects of alcohol.

Snorkeling       

Snorkeling: Is it safe or dangerous? It’s up to you!

Ocean snorkeling is a staple activity amongst tourists vis­iting Hawai’i, and for good rea­son. The surrounding waters contain dozens of beautiful reefs & abundant sea life.

Am I fit for open water snorkelling? 

In general, being physically able to swim and tread water without a snorkel or flotation device, and dive to a depth of two meters while holding your breath is a good start.

 

People with the following conditions should use extra caution when deciding if they are fit for snorkelling:

  • Over 65 years of age with little or no recent open water swimming;

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart, stroke, high blood pressure);

  • Obstructive airway disease (asthma, bronchitis, emphysema);

  • Seizure disorder (history of seizures or convulsions); and/or

  • Other history of sudden loss of consciousness.

The following people are not fit for snorkelling:

  • Non-swimmers;

  • Those who have been advised by their doctor not to swim

  • Those under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What is a snorkel? 

In its most basic form, a snorkel is a simple curved tube that allows swim­mers to keep their face in the water and breathe for extended periods of time, while checking out the marine life be­low. 

However, as simple as it may seem, safely breathing through a tube while swimming in open water is a skill that needs to be learned.

  • Traditional snorkeling uses a tube and separate face mask that seals around the nose and eyes, allowing vis­ibility of objects underwater.

  •  A new type of snorkel has been developed that incorporates the breathing tube and face mask into one unit. This type of mask is intended to seal around the mouth, nose and eyes.  

  • Purchase your own mask & snorkel, safe snorkeling requires a tube and mask that fit your unique facial geom­etry. Test the seal by donning the mask, and then inhaling slightly through your nose. The seal should remain firm and air should not leak in. If it doesn’t fit, choose another mask and snorkel.

  • Always use the buddy system, always snorkel in open water in pairs. No open water snorkeller should enter the water without a buddy. Stay close to your buddy at all times while in the water.

  • Use reputable tour services select a tour operator based on safe­ty and reputation, not just low price.

**Special note on full-face snorkel equipment. Recent evidence suggests that full-face, one-piece snorkel masks are linked to higher drowning rates while snorkeling.  Extreme caution is advised while snorkeling with full-face systems.  If water enters the system while submerged, it can be more difficult to purge than a traditional tube due to the increased air volume of the design. It is theorised that this leads to an increased incidence of water aspiration past the larynx, which in turn causes involuntary laryngo­spasm that blocks the flow of air to the lungs. Extreme caution is advised while snorkelling with full-face systems.**   Provide by: Daren Jenner- Marine Safety Officer for the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA). 

Cliff Diving or jumping off rocks is not advisable!

With some of the worlds best athletes training on the Big Island be alert at all at times.

  • When turning right look over your shoulder for bicycles, mopeds & runners that may have moved over into your intended path.

 

  • Wear your seat belt – Hawaii is a “Click It or Ticket” state- Including no cell phone use while driving.

 

  • Remember to use turn signals & reduce your speed in unlit areas & if you have limited visibility.

 

  • Show some aloha and stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.