Safety in the seas and oceans

You're on the beach, looking at the lovely colours of the water, tantalisingly ebbing and flowing, the waves lapping at your ankles as you dip your child into the cool waters and hear the laughter pealing out.  Heavenly isn't it?

Now some of you will have listened to the briefing given to you by the host company and the lifeguards and some of you won't.  If the host hasn't briefed you on the dangers in the sea, you might want to mention the issues raised in this post to other people on holiday with you.

I go to different locations on the Earth to film wildlife.  In 2023 I did 5 trips for underwater filming, 2 in Sharks Bay, Sharm El Sheikh. I was astounded to see that there were people standing barefoot, sometimes inches away, from venemous creatures such as the Stonefish, Lionfish and Blue Spotted Ribbontail Ray...and this was in shallow water, 2-24 inches deep.  These creatures can kill you if you step on them, especially if you have certain medical conditions.


Not only did they not know what was around them, they were completely unaware that some of these creatures hide under the sand or just beneath rock ledges.  There are also non-venemous creatures that hide under the sand such as Stargazers, Crocodile Fish and Flounders ... but I wouldn't like to step on them accidentally either as they have spines that can hurt you.  Granted, most of the time, most of these creatures will move away from you but you need to be aware and take precautions, just in case you do make accidental contact with them.

Always wear some footwear and don't stamp up and down in the water.  Remember, you are entering their home, so be respectful.  The safest way to walk back and forth is to gently shuffle your feet.  This gives the wildlife a chance to get away from you.

If you're snorkelling, don't jump in, especially if you're the first or only person there.  You don't know what might be around.  

Make sure that you know about the tides and currents before getting in and make an escape plan in case you get in trouble.  Be aware of your own skills and abilities.  There's no shame in recognising your limitations.  Humility is healthy.

Put your mask on and have a look before gently entering the water...then just look out and see what's around you before you actually swim out.

It would be better if you can buy your water footwear before you go as you'll know
it fits but if you're in Sharks Bay, there are 2 shops in the Sunshine and Umbi areas that sell the footwear you'll need and they both provide some equipment but the range is limited.

Please ensure that whoever you are with knows about your medical history and current medications, just in case you do stop on a venemous creature, as they can end your life if you're not careful.

Please remember to stay off the coral.  Even the bleached coral supports hidden life and those areas are restricted.  You can't snorkel on them in the Umbi and Sunshine area but you can if you go further than the 4th pier on the left as you face the sea.
You have every chance of seeing some wonderful sights there such as Scorpion Fish, Squid, Octopus and Clown Fish with Anemone.  Remember not to touch anything.  Please do not walk on the coral - swim out gently, have a look and then swim back.  Don't get up until you land back on the sandy beach.

If you see fish chasing others off, be mindful that it may be breeding season for some species and that some of them have beaks or big teeth and they can give you a serious injury.

Always do some research about where you are going and the creatures you might encounter, as well as local customs etc.

Sharm El Sheikh offers you a great variety of wildlife to watch.  Enjoy your time there and I hope you create many wonderful memories.

Villayat 'Wolf ' Sunkmanitu

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