Australia is home to many beautiful reefs including the world – famous, Great Barrier Reef. While visitors to the Great Barrier Reef marvel at the sight of Australia’s natural wonder, some are hesitant to enter the water in fear of danger. To make your reef exploration memorable, fun and also safe, here are some tips to navigate the hazards divers and snorkelers sometimes encounter on the Great Barrier Reef.
Things you must consider and remember before going into the water:
- If it’s your first time, or you’re uncertain about diving alone, consider going with a professional guide.
- Make sure that you know how to use all the diving equipment and always conduct a safety check before you dive.
- Know your limits and create plans that match your capabilities. Do not overexert yourself.
- Create a plan for your dive and stick to it.
- Ensure that you pay attention to the pre-dive briefing by staff and professionals and ask questions about anything you are unsure of.
Things that sting
- Jellyfish – There are a number of species of jellyfish whose sting can be dangerous and even life threatening. During seasons when there is a higher chance of encountering these jellyfish, your dive instructor may advise you to wear a ‘stinger suit’ to better protect you.
- Stingrays – Divers are rarely jabbed by the barbed spines of stingrays but if you decide to explore the sea floor, shuffle the ends of your fins in the sand to give any rays hiding under the sand a chance to swim away.
- Sea urchins – Look up what a sea urchin looks like before you go on a dive and avoid touching them. They are non – aggressive and slow – moving but some species can be poisonous.
- Anemones – Most anemones are harmless but some of them can give you a painful sting. Avoid touching even if you do find Nemo in one of them!
Things that bite
- Sea snakes – These are extremely venomous but are unlikely to waste their venom on things that they are not capable of eating – like humans. Sea snakes only bite in self – defense so if you do not annoy or handle them, they will not attack you.
- Morays, sharks and other large fish – Bites from sharks and other large fish are uncommon but most occur when fish are being fed. Be sure to follow the instructions of the dive master.
Explore the reef safely by reading up on these tips and by listening to the instructions of professional divers.
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