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Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

Chicago
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Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

Obviously, the loss of Steve Irwin ("Crocodile Hunter") on Monday is a shock to many. If a man who dedicated his life to knowing everything about the animals he studied can get stabbed in the heart by a jittery sting-ray, I want to take every precaution to know the waters I'm planning on swimming and snorkeling in before I even get to Maui. Anyone else a little freaked out by this accident (though certainly not enough so to declare myself a permanent beach bum)?

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Maui
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Elk Rapids, Michigan
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1. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

I think if you google "sting ray deaths" you will find the odds of dying from one are higher than you winning the lotto.

It is important to follow some simple precautions, like don't swim at early dawn or dusk. Don't swim in murky water. Try not to swim at river mouths. Don't stick your hand in any hidey holes in the rocks.

Ukiah, Calif
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2. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

We are all terribly saddened by the loss. But please keep in mind Steve was a very experienced individual who spent more time in more risky situations than your average snorkeler might find in Hawaii. A healthy respect for ALL environments we encounter is always a good idea.

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Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

Aloha! To add to what Bill already shared, there is an excellent section in Maui Revealed about the ocean safety. I would read that - it's very helpful. :)

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Chicago
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4. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

Thanks for your quick responses. I'm certainly not paranoid about a giant stingray approaching me in Maui, but Irwin's life inspired people to respect and coexist with wildlife, not aggravate it, and to take reasonable precautions. So I guess that's my aim.

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Atlantic City, New...
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5. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

that was a shock! also take a look at www.hawaiisharks.com for more info. i also think i heard he was trying to swim right above him which may not be safe also. lucky chuck

Venice, Florida
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6. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

I cried the morning (Monday) when I heard about Steve Irwin. It was such a freaky thing. In today's paper they said he just may have made the mistake of pulling that stinger out himself. Had he left it *maybe* he night have been saved. Just so tragic. I have watched so many of his shows on Animal Planet. He will be missed dearly.

As far as taking precautions to ChicagoBrettski - I will echo what BrightonBill said. I will also add to try and not wear anything shinny with sparkle. They say fish are attracted to shinny objects however I still wear my earrings.

Chicago
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7. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

I'll avoid shiny and sparkly things for sure. It is such a tragedy about Irwin. I'm really saddened by it. I didn't watch his show every week, but just from watching the dozen or so shows I caught, it was evident not only how much he loved this world and all the animals in it, but how much he wanted to share that with the rest of us. I'm hoping to avoid the poolside manner when I get to Maui and spend as much time as I can just taking it all in.

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Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

Mauitiki - funny, that's what I thought too. I have heard of people leaving things in until they can have the right medical personnel take care of it. But my husband mentioned that the stingers are poisonous, so he might have thought the faster he gets it out the better, not realizing the stinger has a serrated edge and causes more damage coming out than going in.

and fyi - when snorkeling or diving in sandy areas where you can walk, its always a good idea to shuffle your feet, since that can stir up a stingray that may be sleeping, instead of stepping right on top of it.

Alberta
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9. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

It is sad that Steve Irwin is gone. I guess I have a slightly different viewpoint in that I wasn't shocked at all that it happened, but sad that he died. I guess I just feel that it was only a matter of time, as sad as it is. To me, I think Steve Irwin, while knowledgeable, took some unecessary risks for shock and awe appeal for TV audiences(myself included). The crock feeding show with his infant son in his arm was the one that stands out most in my mind(crazy unecessary). Anyways, I'm not posting to run him down, I think his shows were fun and informative, mostly, but it reminds us that when we push to close to predators in thier own environment, bad things like this can and do happen. Does it change how I would feel about going in the ocean.. no, because I won't be jumping on a crocodiles back so to speak...(or stingray, for that matter) He sought out the beasts on purpose, and got a lot closer to many forms of dangerous creatures, then anyone would dream of. To me its not a fair comparison to put how Steve Irwin interacted with Sea life, and how a normal person swimming in the ocean interacts with sea life in remotely the same boat. Anyways, again don't take this the wrong way... very sad, RIP.

Atlanta area
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10. Re: Precautions while snorkeling, swimming, diving

Just got back from Maui and snorkeling there is now on my list of top 10 peak life experiences. It takes you to another world!

My advice:

1. Rent the best snorkel gear. We got ours at Snorkel Bob's and were very happy with the quality price and service. They also give you a great map and advice for snorkleing locations. One of the snorkeling sites recommended in Maui revealed is very dangerous.

2. Rent a flotation belt. I'm a good swimmer but wearing the floattion belt gave me more energy to concentrate on the underwater paradise I was exploring.

3. Keep your flippers on and don't stand on the coral! I saw a moray eel while snorkeling. His head was coming out of a rock. You're fine if you don't reach for them or stand on them. Otherwise I gather you can get a nasty (but not lethal) bite.

4. Snorkel in the morning before the waves and the crowds kick up.

5. Buy an underwater camera on the mainland before you visit. Everything on the island is more expensive.

6. Don't go with the Trilogy snorkeling cruise. We found them to be disinterested and overrated - especially for their price which is the highest.

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