There are many reasons to visit Guam, not the least of which is the beautiful tropical scenery. There are gorgeous reefs to swim through as well. But many tourists — even the strongest of swimmers — find themselves in precarious circumstances while swimming in Guam’s potentially dangerous waters.

Unfortunately, a recent incident highlights these dangers. In November 2018, a 49-year-old woman and her husband of 28 years were visiting Guam on vacation. It was the honeymoon they never got to have, a celebration of the nearly three decades of marriage. Tragically, the woman drowned while the couple were snorkeling around a reef.

Unfamiliar with the strength and dangers of Guam’s waters

The couple arrived in Guam on a Friday evening. On Sunday, they visited the infamous Shark’s Cove. They were having an enjoyable walk and decided to go for a swim. However, they were unfamiliar with the strengths and dangers of Guam’s waters. Soon, a riptide had pulled them out to a blue hole with water swirling around them. Next, the ocean pulled them into heavier surf and the husband lost contact with his wife.

By the time the man made it to shore, he was cut up from the coral and ran for help. He and a fisherman called 911, but they weren’t able to save her life. Teams from Guam’s fire department, the U.S. Coast Guard and a Navy helicopter rescue squad found the woman in approximately an hour. They took her to the hospital, but she didn’t survive.

The husband made several statements to bring more attention to the dangers of swimming around Guam’s coast. Regarding his tragic loss, he said, “It’s not easy, it’s not a pleasant thing to go through, but the people of Guam have made it easier, not harder, which is a blessing.”

Drownings in Guam are not uncommon

There are many instances in which people visit Guam, decide to go swimming and they don’t survive. For this reason, tour operators in Guam must take great care to ensure the safety of their customers. If your loved one died while swimming in Guam, you might want to investigate whether a tour operator, hotel or tourism company is legally at-fault or liable for the death.