Snuba: How Safe Is It And What Are The Dangers?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  23.01.2023
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As snuba involves breathing underwater through an air hose, it can be quite dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. The risks are similar to scuba diving, but as snuba does not involve diving gear, the risks are lessened.

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know to stay safe while snuba diving.

Is snuba dangerous

Understanding the Risks of Snuba Diving

What is Snuba?

Snuba is a type of diving that combines the best of both worlds – scuba diving and snorkeling. It allows you to explore the underwater world without having to carry heavy diving equipment. Instead, you are connected to an air supply via a long hose and a raft on the surface.

Safety Considerations

Before attempting Snuba diving, it is important to understand the risks involved:

  • Proper training is essential before attempting to Snuba dive.
  • Discuss any concerns with your Snuba guide before going on a dive.
  • Pay close attention to your Snuba guide’s safety briefing.
  • Never let anyone pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with.
  • Snuba diving is best done in areas with negligible wind, waves, and current.
  • Ascending too quickly can cause air embolism, which can be life-threatening.
  • Although Snuba diving is relatively safe, there is still a risk of injury or death.
  • Make sure to read and understand the Snuba Liability Release form before signing.

Exploring SNUBA Statistics on Injuries and Fatalities

Injuries and Fatalities

  • A small number of injuries and fatalities have been recorded as a result of inexperienced divers attempting to SNUBA.
  • The major cause of SNUBA injuries has been decompression sickness, also known as “the bends”, from coming up to the surface too quickly.
  • There have also been a few drownings due to the diver not using their SNUBA equipment correctly.
  • A few may also have been caused by a diver getting lost in the water after straying too far from their SNUBA raft.

Popularity of SNUBA

  • Thousands of people enjoy the SNUBA experience all across the world on a daily basis.
  • Over five million dives have been conducted over the course of the past decade.
  • SNUBA has quickly become one of the go-to activities for seaside vacations.
  • It’s so easy to enjoy that many more people are becoming exposed to it.

Differences between SNUBA and Other Diving Forms

  • As with scuba, the SNUBA diver uses fins, mask, weights, and a regulator.
  • However, there is no need for a tank to be strapped to their back.
  • The air that they breathe will come from hoses connected to cylinders that contain compressed air.
  • These cylinders are located on the SNUBA raft that the hoses are connected to.
  • SNUBA is different from snorkeling because you do have to carry a tiny bit more equipment than you would if you were just going freestyle.
  • Still, the total amount of equipment that you use is miniscule compared to the heavy oxygen tanks that a scuba diver needs to use.

Common SNUBA Injuries

  • Most injuries that have been associated with SNUBA diving are roughly the same as the ones that have been documented with other forms of diving.
  • Out of millions of documented dives, very few injuries have actually been reported.
  • The number of confirmed SNUBA diving deaths is barely more than a handful.
  • There is a danger that can be associated with diving down too far.
  • The average limit for a SNUBA dive has been projected as 20 feet.
  • Any deeper than this is dangerous because of the dangers of atmospheric pressure.
  • Coming up to the surface too quickly can result in a form of decompression sickness known as “the bends.”

Top Dangers of SNUBA

  • A strong current can cause the support line to pull too hard on a diver, leading to a potential injury.
  • Coming up too quickly to the surface can lead to a case of decompression sickness, also known as “the bends”.
  • Straying too far from the support raft and getting lost can lead to injury or potential fatality.
  • Diving down beyond the recommended 20 feet can lead to injury or drowning.

Can You SNUBA If You Can’t Swim?

  • Yup! It is totally possible for you to SNUBA even if you can’t swim.
  • All you need is a floatation device and a SNUBA guide to help you out.
  • So don’t worry, you can still have a great time SNUBA-ing even if you don’t know how to swim!

What Are The Top Dangers?

The top dangers associated with SNUBA include:

  • Getting pulled too hard by a strong current
  • Coming up too quickly and getting the bends
  • Straying too far from the support raft and getting lost
  • Diving too deep and drowning

How To SNUBA Safely

If you want to SNUBA safely, here are some tips:

  • Listen to your SNUBA guide and follow their instructions
  • Don’t dive deeper than 20 feet
  • Stay close to the SNUBA raft
  • Don’t go on a SNUBA diving trip alone – bring friends and a guide

Potential Hazards of SNUBA Diving


  • Too strong of a current can tug on the support line, potentially causing an injury.

Rapid Ascent

  • Coming up too quickly can lead to decompression sickness, aka “the bends”.

Getting Lost

  • Straying too far from the support raft can lead to a dangerous situation.

Diving Too Deep

  • Going down beyond the recommended 20 feet can be a recipe for disaster.

Getting to the Water for a SNUBA Dive

From the Shore

  • If you’re a scaredy-cat who’s just getting their feet wet, a SNUBA dive from the beach is the perfect way to dip your toes in the water!
  • We’ll take you to some of the most beautiful reefs in the world, right off the coast of some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
  • Plus, beach dives are way cheaper than boat dives, since you don’t have to pay for transportation or boat costs.
  • And the best part? You don’t need a whole or half day to do it. Just an hour or two and you’re good to go!

From a Boat

  • If you’re feeling adventurous and want to get out there, a SNUBA dive from a boat is the way to go!
  • We’ll take you to islands and reefs that are further away, where the water is clearer and there’s less people.
  • We offer full and half day tours, so you can take your time and explore the marine life up close.
  • Plus, we have speedboats, large boats, and catamarans so you can choose the one that fits your needs. And don’t worry, we’ll make sure to feed you on board!

Preserving Coral Reefs While Snuba Diving

What is Snuba Diving?

Snuba diving is a type of diving that combines the freedom of snorkeling with the power of scuba diving. It’s a great way to explore the depths of the ocean without having to lug around a heavy tank of air.

Why is it Important to Respect Coral Reefs?

Coral reefs are fragile living organisms and need to be respected in order to be preserved for future generations. All forms of diving can expose coral reefs to damage, so it’s important to follow some guidelines while snuba diving, scuba diving, or snorkeling.

Tips for Respecting Coral Reefs

  • Don’t touch anything!
  • Never take anything from the ocean, like shells, sand, or coral.
  • Be aware of where you are in the water to avoid bumping into corals.
  • Don’t use your fins to push off of coral or the bottom.
  • Don’t feed the marine life.
  • Wear biodegradable sunscreen.
  • Ask questions and tell others about how to help preserve coral reefs.

Discover the Benefits of Snuba

Easy Breathing Underwater

  • Snuba combines the ease of snorkeling with the experience of breathing underwater like scuba diving.
  • The system uses a floating raft, which acts as a platform for users to practice breathing with their heads underwater and safety measures.
  • The air lines limit the depth of the activity to a maximum of 7 meters, and act as a personal descent line to control descents and equalize ears.
  • To return to the surface, users simply use a hand-over-hand to ascend the air line to the raft.

Lightweight Harnesses

  • Lightweight harnesses allow more people to experience breathing underwater without having to wear and learn how to use a BCD and air cylinder.
  • This opens up the activity to those with weak knees, bad backs, overweight, older, younger, and even some with disabilities.
  • Soft weightbelts are used to make participants neutrally buoyant in the water and avoid injuries to feet on the surface.

No Prior Dive Experience Necessary

  • Snuba is popular because no prior dive experience is necessary.
  • Participants need only to be at least 8 years old and have basic swimming ability.
  • They tow the raft on the surface via a lightweight harness connected to the air line.
  • They can choose the depth they feel most comfortable with and control their depth, descent, and ascent rates.
  • They can hold onto the raft at the surface using a grab-rope for safety and comfort.
  • Compared to scuba, snuba divers wear minimal gear (mask, fins, weight belt, harness, and regulator).


In conclusion, Snuba is a great way to experience the underwater world without having to commit to a full scuba diving course. It’s relatively safe and easy to learn, and the lightweight gear makes it accessible to a wide range of people. Just remember to stay within the recommended depth limit, use the air line to control your descent and ascent, and always keep an eye out for boat traffic. Plus, don’t forget to have fun! After all, Snuba is the perfect way to make a splash!

Also read: can you safely snuba when pregnant? Find out!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.