Snorke­l­ing is top cause of drown­ing deaths

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION -

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.

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