How To Get Water Out Of Your Mask While Snorkeling

Picture this: You're snorkeling in crystal-clear blue waters during the tropical vacation of your dreams. Suddenly, you lock eyes with a sea turtle gliding your way. You want to keep your eyes glued to this majestic creature and snap a few underwater photos, but there's some bad new. Your snorkel mask is filled with water. You have two choices: Swim up to the surface and miss the show or clear your mask underwater. Believe it or not, the latter is possible.


You'll need to do this in two parts. First, clear your snorkel so you can then clear your mask. If your snorkel makes a gurgling sound from trapped water, do a big exhale with a bit of force. This will cause the water to shoot up and out of the tube back into the sea. Waves notwithstanding, try to keep your snorkel above the water line so it doesn't fill up with water again.

How to clear your mask underwater

Once your snorkel is clear, you can address your water-filed mask. First up, take a breath of air from your newly-cleared snorkel. Use your pointer and middle finger to press the top of the mask firmly against your forehead on either side. The idea is to create a bit of suction so the mask seals off the water at the top. Exhale through your nose (not your mouth) and the air will force the water out of the bottom of the mask. All of this should take less than 30 seconds, and you should be able to get your clear vision back in one or two attempts.


You don't need to exert a lot of force here. Simply breathe normally. If you create too much pressure, it could loosen the seals of the mask and cause water to creep in all over again. You'll want to make sure that your mask fits snugly without causing discomfort, checking for obstacles that could get in the way, like your hair. For the best fit, look for masks that are made of high-quality materials with a silicone "skirt" over the nose. This is one of the life skills that's best to master well before you need it. Those epic underwater ocean views await.