Be smart when snorkelling

Snorkelling is a great way to explore our wonderful underwater world and, if you’re lucky, collect something for dinner.

To stay across how to snorkel smart, the VFA has produced a flyer in three languages.

English (PDF - 363.8 KB)

Chinese (PDF - 547.0 KB)

Vietnamese (PDF - 372.2 KB)

While snorkelling is relatively safe, there is always a risk of drowning.

To stay safe, you must:

Use the right equipment

  • Use a dive float or flag
    A dive float tells other water users where you are.
  • Use a wetsuit, mask and snorkel, gloves, and flippers
    Having well fitted equipment will make your snorkel comfortable and help you collect fish safely.
  • Get a weight belt with a quick release buckle
    If you are finding it difficult to keep your head above water, undo and drop your weight belt. Without a weight belt, your wetsuit will help you float and you can signal for help.
  • Use the right tools to take fish
    Having an abalone tool and a fish identification chart will help you follow the rules and keep our oceans healthy. For a copy of all the rules download the free VicFish App.

Before you go snorkelling

  • Check the weather and tide
    Visit the Bureau of Meteorology at to check what the local weather, swell and tide are like. If the conditions are bad, don’t go snorkelling.
  • Tell someone your plans
    Give a family member or friend who is NOT snorkelling with you:
    • The name of the place where you are going to go snorkelling.
    • The time you expect to get home after snorkelling.
    • Your mobile number.
    • The names and mobile numbers of the other people with you.
      This way someone can get help if you don’t return home in time.

Be safe in the water

  • Snorkel within your limits
    Snorkelling in open water can be difficult. Only snorkel when the water is calm. If the weather changes, snorkel in another place or on another day.
  • Snorkel with a friend
    Arrange to snorkel with another person and stay close together. You need to be able to reach your friend if they get into trouble. If you or your friend get into trouble signal for help immediately.