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What Hazards Are There on Andaman Islands?

Andaman Islands are politically stable with extremely low crime rate. These Islands are however covered with 86% reserved forests and hence it's important to be aware of environmental hazards. You'll need to be thoroughly prepared for outback journeys, hikes and take sensible precaution in regards to snakes, crocodiles and poisonous animals. We hope you safely enjoy these stunning Islands.

Personal Security

Andaman Islands are politically stable with extremely low crime rate. It is generally a safe destination with tourists enjoying unhindered travel experiences in terms of their personal safety and security. However, as with all travel at home or away, you should observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions.

Sun protection

To avoid sun damage always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and SPF 30+ sunscreen lotion. If spending the whole day outdoors, reapply sunscreen regularly. Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Sunburn often doesn't appear until later in the day. If you have sunburn:

  • Apply wet cool compresses to the skin to alleviate pain and heat, or take a cool shower or bath
  • Apply pure aloe Vera gels to provide comfort and help skin heal faster
  • Drink fluids
  • Seek medical help if the burn is accompanied by headache, faintness, chills, fever, or blisters form over a large area
  • Stay out of the sun until the sunburn is healed

WATER HAZARDS

Alcohol and swimming do not mix!

Beware of fast moving tides and currents, especially the undertow from waves in deep water where even strong swimmers may find it difficult to get back to the shore.

Avoid swimming alone

Swim in approved places when there is a beach patrol or lifeguard service. Always wear proper life jackets when taking part in certain types of water sports like sailing, windsurfing, canoeing etc. Sunburn is common and may be unexpected since the swimmer is kept cool by the water.

Water is the home of some very dangerous creatures like crocodiles, and sharks. Sea creatures like urchins, jellyfish, molluscs or fish may be unexpectedly venomous. Be aware of local dangers.ng have very little protection in the event of an accident.

Do not swim immediately after a big meal when cramp is more likely to occur. Low water temperature can induce hypothermia. This can be rapidly fatal - within minutes.

Foot injuries on beaches are common in those not wearing shoes.

Sharks / Crocodiles

Shark attacks in Andaman are not heard of, however may be fatal. Avoid swimming alone and at night. But Crocodiles are a genuine threat in Andaman Island, and it pays to keep this in the back of your mind. They are a predator and they do view humans as food. Unlike the other dangerous animals discussed above Crocodiles live in creeks in South Andaman and certain Islands around Havelock, often changing habitat via sea.

When travelling near crocodile habitats, observe safety signs and don't swim in rivers, estuaries or mangrove shores. Also seek expert advice about crocodiles before camping, fishing or boating. There has been a fatal incident involving a tourist in the near past at Havelock. We request guest to exercise caution and vigilance while entering waters in Andaman Islands.

The chances of interacting with a shark can be reduced if one heeds the following advice:

  • Don't swim too far from shore
  • Stay in groups, sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual
  • Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight when sharks are most active
  • Don't go in the water if bleeding from a wound, sharks have a very acute sense of smell
  • Leave the shiny jewellery at home, the reflected light resembles fish scales
  • Avoid brightly-coloured swimwear, sharks see contrast particularly well

Dangerous snakes:

When walking or hiking, you can avoid snake bites by wearing protective footwear and using your common sense. If bitten, seek immediate medical attention. Deaths from snake bites are extremely rare and there have been no recorded tourist deaths because of the same. While walking at night always carry a torch and watch your steps. Do note that since there is scarcity of anti venom the best thing is prevention!

Trekking in wilderness / overnight camping:

When planning a trekking, check the length and difficulty of the walk and consider using a local guide for long or challenging walks. If walking without a guide, tells someone where you're going and when you expect to return. Wear protective footwear, a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent and take wet weather gear, a topographic map and plenty of water. When walking, read maps and signs, stay on the track, behind safety barriers and away from cliff edges. Don't feed or play with native animals, as you might get scratched or bitten. Plan walking in summer months carefully and avoid challenging hikes when the sun is too intense.

Rip Currents:

Rip currents can be killers. They account for more than 80% of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards. Rip currents are powerful, channelled currents of water flowing away from shore that quickly pull swimmers out to sea. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. The best way to stay safe is to recognize the danger of rip currents and always remember to swim at beaches with lifeguards.

Rip Currents - Break the Grip of the Rip!

Rip currents are powerful currents of water moving away from shore. They can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.

If caught in a rip current:

  • Don't fight the current
  • Swim out of the current, then to shore
  • If you can't escape, float or tread water
  • If you need help, call or wave for assistance


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