Snorkeling With High Blood Pressure

by Mary

I am wondering about snorkeling with high blood pressure. In June I will be going on a cruise to the Western Caribbean. I was checking out the snorkeling excursions and at one of the ports the snorkeling info stated that those with asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure could not participate. I snorkeled before on a cruise excursion with no restrictions listed and the other ports on the upcoming cruise do not list restrictions for their snorkeling excursions.

I have done some research on the internet and can't really find an answer about why some snorkeling excursions state restrictions and some don't. These are really just beginner low impact snorkeling dives. I can understand major health issues but diabetes and high blood pressure is more common that one would think and controlled by medication. So why the restriction? Any info or thoughts concerning this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Comments for Snorkeling With High Blood Pressure

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Jan 04, 2010
Snorkeling with High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Asthma
by: Galen & Nicole

Hi Mary. First, let me say I am not a doctor, and can't offer a medical opinion. For sure, whoever has either high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma should talk to their doctor before going snorkeling.

But I have done some research on the subject because it is interesting. In the world of diving, which has some relation to snorkeling, it is pretty common for there to be some restrictions related to those conditions. So I don't find it very surprising that a cruise/snorkel company wishes to reduce it's liability.

The best resource for information on each of those conditions as it relates to diving and health is DAN - the Diver's Alert Network, a non-profit medical & research group focused on health and safety for divers (connected to Duke University Medical Center).

While it might seem that snorkeling is very different from diving, there are many similarities.

Here are some links to specific articles relating to each of the conditions you mentioned. While not about snorkeling these articles will give you some idea about why there may be concern:



Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

I have read that regular exercise is one of the best things for hypertension and diabetes. So I would guess that good prevention and preparation for a snorkeling trip would be to create a swimming exercise plan with their doctor, well before the planned snorkeled trip. Then they could probably get a release from their doctor saying it was OK to do those activities, releasing the cruise/snorkel companies from liability. I know that divers will sometimes need a release like this.

I hope this helps a bit.

Anyone else with experience, please feel free to comment.


Feb 03, 2010
Releases for snorkeling
by: Susan

Hi Mary,
I had a similar experience when I went to the Virgin Islands to Coral World. I have diabetes and high BP (well under control now, but still take insulin), and wanted to go Sea Trekking, but they had restrictions stated also. My doctor said they were just covering themselves but to humor them, he wrote me a letter with one sentence, saying "Susan is released to do any dives that don't exceed 20 feet" or something to that effect. I made a few copies and dated them as I went and it was all good.

I always do the research before a trip for just such reasons. Everybody has their own rules, I guess, but if you're healthy enough your doctor can cure those irritations with one penstroke. 8-) Have fun!

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