Snorkeling is top cause of drowning deaths
Hawaii officials are working to raise awareness of the top cause of drowning for people visiting Hawaii: snorkeling.
Out of 650 ocean drownings from 2007 to 2016, the state Department of Health has recorded 169 as related to the common ocean activity, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on Saturday. A total of 156 of those deaths were of tourists to the islands.
Motor vehicle crashes were the next highest cause of visitor deaths, with 85 recorded during the same period.
The numbers have prompted a state committee to explore ways to help prevent the deaths. The Honolulu Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services division has teamed up with a major visitor television channel to air announcements on snorkeling safety in 25,000 hotel rooms on Oahu.
On Oahu so far this year, 16 ocean drownings have occurred. Hanauma Bay, a popular snorkeling spot on Oahu, had 16 snorkeling-related drownings during the nine-year period.