Snorkel Instructor Trainer Marg Baldwin asks whether you're ready for the snorkelling season and helps pinpoint ways to prepare.
The days are getting longer and hopefully, spring will soon arrive and then the summer. We will have to wait many weeks before the water starts to warm up but there are preparations we should and can be doing for the next snorkelling season. How fit are you? How are your snorkelling skills? When did you last practice your lifesaving skills? When did you last do a course to enhance your own snorkelling abilities? These are just a few of the questions we can ask ourselves for some thoughts on the possible answers read on.
How fit are you?
Maybe a few extra pounds have crept on over Christmas – perhaps now is the time to check if your wetsuit still fits - if it has shrunk! Now could be the time to engage in some activities so you can fit in again. If this is not an option then perhaps you could start looking for a suit that fits ready for the new season. We don’t have to be superfit to snorkel, but being reasonably fit and comfortable with our snorkelling activities in the water is important. Time spent on club nights swimming and or finning some lengths could be time well spent.
How are your snorkelling skills?
Are your surface dives as proficient as they should be or is it time to practice? Thinking about going somewhere warm with coral this year, how is your frog kick? It is amazing how far the downward thrust of a standard flutter/scissor fin action is felt. Frog kick over any fragile seabed is highly desirable and it takes time to develop a good action.
When did you last practise CPR on a mannequin, rescue breaths in water or towing a casualty? Those of us who teach, it may have been recently, but for others it may have been months ago. Why not organise a rescue skill review session for one of your club nights so everyone can practice? We know snorkelling has a good safety record but as water users, we never know when our rescue skills may be needed.
Snorkel Dive Manager
Good snorkel dive management is key for safe and enjoyable snorkelling activities. Last June saw the launch of the revised Snorkel Dive Manager course. To attend this course, students need to meet the following criteria:
- Be a current BSAC member
- Confirm that they are medically fit to snorkel
- Hold Advanced Snorkel Diver qualification
- Hold the Advanced Snorkel Lifesaver Award
- Be in possession of the course pack
The Snorkel Dive Manager course can be taught by Advanced Snorkel Instructors, or Open Water Scuba Instructors and above. If you are struggling to find instructors to deliver the training, do ask your Regional Coaching Team for assistance. We know good snorkel dive management is a key feature of safe snorkelling.
Think SAFE – Snorkel SAFE
Snorkel Instructor Trainer
Find out more about snorkel training.