If you have had a near drowning experience while snorkeling, we want to hear about it. Your answers will help us to create a safer experience for future ocean goers.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among Hawaii visitors. Snorkeling is the by far the most common ocean activity associated with visitor drowning deaths, accounting for 189 non-resident deaths between 2009-2018.
The fact that visitors seem more at risk has been attributed to inexperience, panic, ocean conditions, and pre-existing medical conditions. However, this this does not sufficiently explain the disparity between resident and visitor, or why many drownings happen in benign conditions.
The Snorkel Safety Sub-Committee was formed under the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Injury Prevention and Control Branch. This sub-committee is conducting a Snorkel Safety Study to identify significant causes of snorkel related fatal and non-fatal drownings.