Water safety abroad

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For many Canadians, no trip abroad would be complete without spending some time on, in or under a warm southern sea.  But whether you are a professional scuba diver, a surfer, a Sunday sailor or just like to paddle around at a lovely sand beach, you should be aware of and plan for the dangers you may face while you are enjoying the ocean.

If you are planning to take part in extreme water sports such as scuba diving or parasailing, upgrade your travel insurance coverage to include policies for adventure travel. If you are a scuba diver, you should consider taking out Divers Alert Network (DAN) scuba dive accident insurance coverage before you leave on your trip. It will cover everything from decompression illness to the loss of dive equipment. The DAN website also includes information on the effects of scuba diving on a number of diseases and medical conditions.

Before you leave home, research your destination on Internet forums and ask other users for advice and tips.  Have your sports gear serviced and bring it with you to avoid having to rent equipment that may not have been well maintained.


Once you arrive at your destination and hit the beach, the same water safety rules apply whether you are there to swim, surf or snorkel:


Paddle sports and small boats

Board sailing

Personal watercraft

Sun protection

Spending a sunny, or even overcast, day on the water can result in serious sunburn. If you are planning to spend a day on a boat, wear a high SPF sun block, a hat and sun glasses that block 98% of UV rays. For more information, see Sun and Heat Safety for Travellers.

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