How to Be Safe on the Great Barrier Reef

The 2,300km-long Great Barrier Reef is a stunning ecosystem of reefs and islands, home to more than 600 types of corals, mollusks, dolphins, sharks, turtles and fish. But there are hazards lurking just below the water. Use the best equipment, fins, vests, best full face snorkeling masks, and follow the advice of your dive master and skipper to stay safe.

Precautions from Marine Life

Report immediately if you are bitten or stung because it can lead to an infection and can be very painful. The dive staff will give you first aid. Never touch anything to stay safe. Make this a basic rule, no matter how beautiful and docile the marine life may seem. And of course, the corals can get damaged from your touch. Never ever think of coming back with a souvenir. Also, never leave behind anything in the water.

There are a lot of things below the water that can sting you, such as sea urchins, fire corals, jellyfish, thorns, corals, anemones, hydroids, shells, and fish like sting rays, stonefish, and lionfish among others. It’s a vast zone with each area being different. So before going down from your boat, always ask the skipper and dive master what you can expect at the zone you are visiting. This will make you better prepared.

Not just stings, there is also the risk of bites at the Great Barrier Reef. Stay away from morays, sharks, sea snakes and other big fish. Follow your instructor if you see them feeding while on the dive. Be extremely careful. Better still go to another place. Small fish can be dangerous too, particularly in their breeding season. A good mask will improve your visibility so you can get away quickly.

You and Your Equipment

The equipment you carry and your level of expertise is equally important. Always carry with the best gear you can find – there can be no compromises here. And remember to always do a final check of the equipment just before the dive. There should be a pre-dive briefing, which you must follow closely. Follow any advice that is given to you.

Finally, you should always know your limits. Never overexert yourself. Come up immediately even if you are facing the slightest discomfort. The priority should always be to stay safe. There can always be another dive later. Consider a refresher course if it has been a while since your last dive.