Local Island Experts

Full-Face snorkel masks are in the news in Hawaii


Full-Face snorkel masks are in the news in Hawaii. This is a new innovation in snorkel masks that has become increasingly popular since its inception and availability to the public in 2014. Proponents love the bigger window of visibility provided and also the fact that you do not need to have a snorkel in your mouth as you breath in and out. Others suggest that it may have been a factor in a number of recent snorkeling deaths in Hawaii in recent years. They say it may have something to do with an accumulation of carbon dioxide that accumulates in the mask and may cause the snorkeler to lose consciousness while snorkeling. Some say that the quality of the mask is an important safety factor. Knock off's of the very expensive ones have made these items fairly inexpensive. Many people suggest that with the lower price also comes increased risk and possible dangers.

Many people have mixed opinions about these masks. The fact is however that there to date has been no conclusive evidence as to the exact hazard, if any, associated with these masks. Some say to purchase only certain manufacture's models and to avoid the inexpensive models. Honestly, we don't know the answer to any of these questions. Time will tell, but even today (May 29th, 2019) another incident occurred in Hawaii regarding a lady using such a mask who was pulled from the water unconscious but was taken alive to the hospital after being found unresponsive in the water, face down.

We bring this to your attention so you can form your own opinion. As with any new technology, time will often provide the answer but until then, you are in the general population that will decide the answer on a future statistical chart. Please be advised, and examine the continuation of evidence as it continues be acquired.

You can visit all the snorkel tour options that are available by Tom Barefoot's Tours on Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island.




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Hawaii snorkeling is by far the single most popular category of activities to be found in Hawaii. One reason for this is that snorkeling in Hawaii is often a component of many different types of tours found on any individual island such as many of the dolphin watches, whale watches, diving tours, raft excursions and even in some cases dinner cruises.

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