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Maui Ocean Safety Tips

Increasing Ocean Risks

Across the state, ocean injuries and fatalities have been steadily increasing with the rising influx of annual visitors. From 2008 to 2017, there were 682 ocean drownings, 55% of which were visitors.

Within the last few months, the state has launched a website to try and combat ocean deaths and provide more public safety information. In conjunction with county lifeguard agencies, the state has compiled the latest tips at their new website.

Picture courtesy of Dom Marino

The Sayles Team is full of a bunch of beach and ocean going enthusiasts who spend a vast majority of their time making the most of the Maui lifestyle. So here are some of our best tips we have collected over the years.

Use the Buddy System

Whether you are surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming, always go with a partner and continuously check on one another to make sure everything is going as planned. When it comes to the ocean, it is extremely unforgiving and we always recommend being overly cautious.

Lifeguard Beaches

No lifeguard here, courtesy of Dom Marino

Not all Maui beaches are equal, but in this case not all beaches com with lifeguards stationed from 8:00am to 4:30pm. Prioritizing going to go to a beach where they are present is always a good idea. However, just because they are, doesn’t mean its guaranteed to be safe. They are human too and shouldn’t have to unnecessarily put their life at risk.

Monitor Your Surroundings

Always track where you are in relation to the shoreline/coastline. It’s easy to get swept out to sea if you are on a kayak, stand up paddle board, or surf board. It’s also just as easy to get lost following little Nemo around underwater. Don’t overestimate your swimming capabilities.

Check the Weather

The ideal snorkel day, courtesy of Dom Marino

If it has rained hard in the days leading up to your planed day of snorkeling, the inshore waters will most likely be muddy and opaque which makes it not ideal conditions. If there is high surf posted for that day, you will get tossed around and not see anything. If it is grey and cloudy, there will be less light penetrating the water and you won’t have such a good view. A quick weather check can ensure you pick the right day for your epic ocean adventure.

High Snorkeling Risk For Those 50+

The majority of snorkeling deaths and incidents can be attributed to those in the 50+ year old demographic. Snorkeling places a lot of strain and increased workload on the heart. Besides the obvious physical efforts required to swim, there is mental component that can cause panic such as swallowing water, not getting enough air, or simply from fear due to strong currents. 

While this is meant to be informative, we do not want to scare off those who wish to snorkel because people over 50 can still snorkel but should take a few extra precautions.

  • Visit with their primary physician or cardiologist to discuss coronary risk factors 
  • Staying healthy by exercising on a weakly basis, not smoking, eating a heart healthy diet
  • Actually seeing your doctor on a regular basis

Where are Maui’s best beaches?

Image may contain: ocean, sky, cloud, beach, outdoor, nature and water
Baldwin Beach on Maui’s North Shore, courtesy of Dom Marino

The island has over 30 miles of white, yellow, red, and black sand beaches. In fact, Maui has more miles of accessible beach than any of the other Hawaiian Islands. Not bad for the second youngest island in the chain! Check out our suggestion on South Maui BeachesWest Maui Beaches, and North Shore Beaches

Contact a Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Specialist

Please interview me to be your trusted Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Advisor. I was born and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Please do not hesitate to call me for your Maui real estate needs. I am more than happy to assist you in your home search.


Anthony Sayles R(S)


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