Full-Face Snorkel Mask Safety Study

Divers Alert Network aims to assess the safety of using full-face snorkel masks (FFSMs). In recent years DAN has begun to receive incident reports connected to these new devices. This study aims to test different FFSM models to determine their characteristics and observable risks. The testing will be a collaborative effort between DAN and Duke University.

Starts: 2020

Are You Willing to Snorkel for Science?

Full face snorkel masks (FFSMs) have risen in popularity. However, some snorkel tour operators and popular snorkeling sites have reported unexplained fatalities from snorkelers using these devices. Scientists at the Duke University Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology, working with the Divers Alert Network (DAN), are performing a research study to examine whether FFSMs provide a physiologically different snorkeling experience that may result in an increase in risk for the snorkeler.

Prior to the study, subjects will be screened and informed of the study procedure by email. Those who are selected will come to Duke for a physical exam and tests. In addition to the screening and exam day, which will take 1-2 hours, there will be one experimental day, which will take 2-3 hours. On the test day, subjects will be asked to exercise face-down on a bicycle while immersed in water as if snorkeling. Subjects will be screened for COVID-19.

Participants cannot have previous dive experience. They must have no physical impairment that would prevent them from participation. Subjects will be sorted into one of two groups based on age and willingness to take a fitness test. Subjects will be paid for completion of the study and parking expenses will be reimbursed.

For more information, please email Mike Natoli () or Rachel Lance ().