Why Do Snorkels Have Whistles?

Last Updated: December 13, 2023

Safety is one of the major concerns when planning for a snorkeling expedition. It is good to embrace every possible measure that can keep you safe while in the waters.

Though you may have all the required precautions in place, sometimes risky and unexpected events may arise.

You need urgent help in case of emergencies such as a medical situation, an attack by an animal, or when at risk of drowning. A whistle is handy in such moments.

It is a convenient means for reaching out to your buddies, or the staff for help.

Read below to learn why snorkels have whistles.

Is it Normal for Snorkels to Have a Whistle?

why use whistle when snorkeling

It is not normal for a snorkel to have a whistle; it is an optional snorkel feature. Some snorkels come with built-in whistles while others do not have one.

A whistle is one way with which to increase your safety while snorkeling. You can purchase a snorkel with a whistle, or alternatively attach one to your gear.

Why Buy a Snorkel with a Built-in Whistle?

A snorkel with a built-in whistle is always a better option.

Some of the reasons to buy a snorkel with a built-in whistle include:


Your security is of utmost importance when you are in the ocean. Snorkeling takes you to an environment where you are vulnerable to natural elements, and sometimes unfriendly aquatic wildlife.

Any item that can enhance your security while snorkeling is worth the cost. A snorkel with a whistle makes it possible to call for help when at risk.

Age Factor

Minors, seniors, and inexperienced snorkelers require attention and close monitoring when swimming.

A snorkel with a built-in whistle will enable the person to call for help in case of any difficulties.

To Share Unique Experiences

Snorkeling takes you to a unique and beautiful underwater world. During your exploit, you may come across a scenic sight that you would want to share with your buddies.

A whistle is a convenient means to call and get others to your location.

Where are Snorkels with Whistles Recommended

Your snorkeling location is a significant factor as far as your security goes. You need a whistle when headed to a potentially risky area.

Potentially dangerous places include:

  • Locations with Strong Currents

Ocean waters have unpredictable water patterns. Sometimes currents can change and exceed even the abilities of an experienced snorkeler.

So you need to pay attention to areas that have strong tides or rip currents. It will save you from having to blow your whistle for rescue.

  • A Spot That Has Corals or is Rocky

Rocks, gravels, and corals are among the natural features of an aquatic environment.

It is not unusual to find yourself at a location that has lots of coral, or rocks which could be sharp, and dangerous if you step on them.

In addition to the risk of an injury, sand, and grit can hamper your visibility, hence causing you to get lost amongst the rough rocks and corals.

A whistle can lead a rescue team to your location.

  • A Place That Requires Constant Swimming

Sometimes you might find yourself at a spot that requires constant swimming. A lot of physical exertion may eventually fatigue you.

Physical exhaustion is risky since your muscles may freeze or shut down. Use your whistle to notify your buddies you need help.

  • When in Distant and Secluded Waters

If your exploit is at a secluded location and at a considerable distance from the shore, it is important to have a whistle with you.

When you are away from areas with lots of activities you are vulnerable to unfriendly sea creatures.

You need a whistle to alert each other in case of danger.

When Would a Whistle Need to be Used while Snorkeling

Snorkeling is generally safe since you swim near the shores of the expanse waters. Regardless, you can encounter an unusual event where you need to use a whistle.

Some situations where you can use a whistle include:

1. Medical Condition

The water environment can at times make a pre-existing medical condition worse. If you have a health condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, let the staff know in advance.

Sometimes an unexpected health problem can arise when you are snorkeling. In such an event you need to get immediate help.

Remember, if you get helpless while in the ocean, you have a small window of rescue to avoid drowning.

2. Injury or Accident

At times the sea water can be dark and with poor visibility. When in such waters, and you happen to be at a place that is rocky or with corals, you get hurt or lost.

A whistle will help you to get the attention of the other snorkelers.

3. An Unfriendly Sea Creature

Animal behavior is usually unpredictable. In the unlikely event you have an unfriendly encounter with the aquatic wildlife, leave the vicinity of the sea creature.

Use your whistle to alert others to keep away from the spot as well.

Does a Whistle Work Underwater?

Sure, a snorkel whistle can work under the water since it is specially designed to work that way.

Regardless, whistles work best when used on the water surface. It is also easier to get the attention of other snorkelers when out of the water.

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