How to Stay Safe in the Water in Puerto Rico

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Water diverted from streams and pumped from wells are the primary sources of water for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities. A deeper understanding of water-use patterns is required, notably the amount of water consumed, where and how this water is used and disposed of, and how human activities effect water resources. Irrigation, indoor and outdoor family use, industrial use, and commercial and mining withdrawals all have an impact on reservoirs, streams, and aquifers. Accurate and easily accessible water information for Puerto Rico is vital to ensuring that water management can safeguard and conserve this natural resource.

Fish can live and breathe in water, but humans require air to breathe. When too much water enters the lungs, people drown. When this happens, the lungs are unable to provide oxygen to the blood. When this happens, not enough oxygen reaches the brain and the rest of the body. Drowning can occur in less than 2 minutes after a person’s head is submerged in water. That leaves little time for someone to assist.

Tips for ocean swimming safety

  • Always swim in a lifeguarded area.
  • Never swim alone, regardless of your age or level of swimming skills.
  • Keep within your fitness and swimming capabilities.
  • Be aware of weather and water conditions and heed warnings.

There are various hazards that are caused by swimming in the ocean without precaution. Being water adept in the ocean necessitates more powerful and distinct abilities than in a pool.

When you’re at the ocean,  keep an eye out for and prepare for:

  • Changing tides.
  • Fast-moving currents and waves, even in shallow water.
  • Drop-offs that unexpectedly change water depth.
  • Unexpected changes in air or water temperature.
  • Hazards, such as underwater obstacles, rocks and debris.
  • Vegetation, marine animals and fish.
  • Other people’s activities in the same waters, such as boating.
  • Thunder & Lightning.

To avoid these hazards , tourist or swimmers should :

  1. Leave the water immediately, if swimming off shore.
  2. If you’re out in a boat, head back to shore as quickly as possible.
  3. If you’re unable to get to shore, lie down in the bottom of the boat or shelter in the cabin if available.
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When at the ocean, there’s the need to follow this instruction to avoid any form of hazard.

  • Enter the water feet first for your safety!
  • Always enter unknown or shallow water cautiously. Only dive in water clearly marked as safe for diving, at least 9 feet deep with no underwater obstacles. Never dive head first into surf!
  • Do not enter the water from a height, such as a bridge or boat.
  • Be careful when standing to prevent being knocked over by currents or waves.
  • Swim sober.
  • Supervise others sober and without distractions, such as reading or talking on or using a cell phone.
  • Swim with a buddy even in lifeguarded areas.

Life jackets are made to keep you afloat in the water. To prevent drowning, they will automatically turn you face up, keeping your mouth and nostrils clear of the water. This is especially critical if you are unconscious when you fall into the water for whatever reason.

Keep in mind that they are not intended to keep you warm. Wear adequate warm/protective gear if there is a chance of falling into cold water.

All life jackets are designed to activate automatically if you fall into water. Manually inflating single-chamber jackets is also possible by pulling on the lanyard linked to them. Both types of jackets have mouth tubes that allow you to inflate them orally.

The life jacket safety light is a sealed water-activated battery device. When a ripcord is pulled to remove the seals and the operational cell is immersed in water, it activates the light bulb.

Anyone working near water should wear a life jacket; your risk assessment will decide where this is required.

Workers on small boats and other vessels are advised to wear a twin-chamber life jacket at all times, as is anyone who must travel in any form of vessel, such as  a passenger on a pilot boat to board ships at anchor. Wherever visibility is anticipated to be poor, you should wear a safety light with your life jacket.


How to avoid hazards at lagoon and river while swimming is below:

  • Before diving in, check the water depth. River and lake bed conditions can shift quickly. Never plunge in head first, and never jump from great heights into the ocean. Always approach the water slowly.
  • Keep an eye out for other river users, particularly boats and watercraft.
  • Never swim by yourself. Ascertain that someone else is there to provide or receive assistance.
  • A tree rope swing should never be used. Tree rope swings are perilous and frequently result in major injuries.
  • Keep an eye out for currents and undertows.
  • Stay cool if you fall into difficulty on the water. Signal for assistance, then float with the current on your back feet first. Don’t freak out.
  • If you see someone in the water who needs assistance, keep dry and reach out to them with a stick or a rope.
  • Even in the summer, inland waters can be exceedingly cold—beware of hypothermia.
  • Never rely on pool float toys to keep you safe in the water.
  • Avoid using drugs or drinking alcohol near water.
Refer to Tips for ocean swimming for safety tips on life jacket safety when swimming in lagoon and river as same process applies.

Tips for water sports safety

Hazards of water sports such as boating, jet skiing, and parasailing has the most common sport injury that includes sprain, joint dislocation, laceration, and crush injuries are all possible. A fall into water caused by a loss of balance might result in a crush injury. Head injuries are more dangerous and might result in unconsciousness.

To be able to avoid such injuries during sporting activities, individuals must:

  • Before engaging in water sports activities, ensure that you are completely rested. It promotes a positive attitude and increases alertness.
  • Warm up before physical exercise to maintain muscle suppleness and joint flexibility.
  • Get thorough and official training to learn the proper techniques and skills.
  • Put on appropriate safety equipment such as non-slippery shoes, gloves, and a helmet.
  • Never try to take on more than you can bear. Follow the methods step by step during practice.
  • When falling into the water, use your arms to shield your face and head.
  • Maintain your composure while remaining vigilant. Don’t hurry back into the fray.
  • When floating back to the water’s top, use one hand to shield your head while the other stretches towards the surface to feel for any impediments.
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There are numerous really beautiful sites in Puerto Rico that are best experienced while on or in the water, from our beaches to rivers, waterfalls, canyons, and beyond. Moreover, many of the activities we cover take place in, on, or near bodies of water. All of those locations may be explored safely and without incident with a little forethought. The last thing you want to do while on vacation is get stung in the water, washed out to sea, or worse. Spend a few minutes reading this post to ensure you have the nicest and safest vacation ever in Puerto Rico.

While the incredibly clear-blue water of Puerto Rico is enticing, it is critical to “read” the water before diving in. Rip currents are widespread in beaches all throughout the world, including Puerto Rico. When the water rises quickly during flash floods, the beautiful rivers here can turn dangerous. Every year, far too many people drown, nearly drown, or are severely injured because they don’t know what to look for. Entering the water without knowing if it is safe is asking for trouble and endangering your own and the lives of others (the lifeguard or the Good Samaritan who tries to save you). Here is a guide to help you understand what to look for in order to avoid such calamities.

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