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Escambia County is proud to present two snorkeling reefs - Pensacola Beach Gulf Snorkel Reef and Pensacola Bay Snorkel Reef.

Snorkeling is a wonderful activity that can be enjoyed by almost anyone who has access to the ocean, a lake, river, pond or quarry. Snorkeling as an activity frequently lives in the shadow of scuba diving - another excellent pastime, but one that requires significantly more instruction, time and money. Most people who have snorkeled have done so only on group charters while on vacation, but snorkeling is an activity that can be enjoyed almost anytime, anywhere.

Important Snorkeling Reef Information

1. Florida Law requires the use of the "Divers-Down Flag"

  • The size of divers-down flags displayed on vessels must be at least 20 inches by 24 inches, and a stiffener is required to keep the flag unfurled. Dive flags on floats must be at least 12 inches by 12 inches. Also, divers-down flags on vessels must be displayed above the vessel's highest point so that the flag's visibility is not obstructed in any direction.
  • Divers must make reasonable efforts to stay within 300 feet of a divers-down flag on open waters (all waterways other than rivers, inlets, or navigation channels) and within 100 feet of a flag within rivers, inlets, or navigation channels.
  • Vessel operators must make a reasonable effort to maintain a distance of at least 300 feet from divers-down flags on open waters and at least 100 feet from flags on rivers, inlets or navigation channel. Vessels approaching divers-down flags closer than 300 feet in open water and 100 feet in rivers, inlets and navigation channels must slow to idle speed.
  • When divers are out of the water, a dive flag may not be displayed

2. Snorkeling Reef is not patrolled by lifeguards; use at own risk. Be aware of boat traffic, dangerous marine life, strong wave surge and currents, etc.

3. Always dive with a buddy; never dive alone!

4. Use a personal flotation device, snorkeling vest or other buoyancy aid.

5. Snorkelers and divers should adhere to beach warning flags.

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