What To Do If You See A Snake While Swimming?

Swimming is one of the most refreshing and enjoyable activities during the warm summer months.

Whether you are swimming in a pool or in a natural body of water, encountering a snake can be a frightening experience.

Even if most snakes are harmless and prefer to avoid human contact, it is important to know what to do if you encounter a snake while swimming.

In this article, we will discuss in detail what to do if you see a snake while swimming. We will provide a step-by-step guide to help you stay safe and avoid any potential harm.

Step 1: Remain Calm

The first and most important step when encountering a snake while swimming is to remain calm.

Snakes are often more scared of humans than we are of them. Therefore, it is important not to panic and make any sudden movements.

Any unexpected or quick movements can startle the snake and cause it to attack.

Take a deep breath and try to stay as still as possible. It will help to keep the snake calm and less likely to see you as a threat.

Step 2: Identify the Snake

The second step when encountering a snake while swimming is to identify the snake if possible.

It can help you determine if the snake is venomous or non-venomous.

While many water snakes are harmless, venomous snakes can be extremely dangerous and require immediate medical attention.

If you are not familiar with different snake species, it is best to err on the side of caution and assume that any snake you encounter is venomous.

Pay attention to the snake’s appearance, including its color, pattern, and size. This information can be helpful for medical professionals if you are bitten and require treatment.

Step 3: Move Away Slowly

Once you have identified the snake, the third step is to move away from it slowly.

Do not make any sudden movements or aggressive gestures, as this can provoke the snake to attack.

Instead, try to keep a safe distance from the snake and move away slowly and calmly.

If the snake is in your path, you can try to move around it, keeping a safe distance of at least six feet.

Keep an eye on the snake at all times, and do not turn your back on it until you are a safe distance away.

Step 4: Do Not Touch the Snake

Never attempt to touch or handle a snake, even if you think it is non-venomous.

Snakes can be unpredictable, and even non-venomous snakes can bite if they feel threatened.

Keep a safe distance from the snake and avoid making any sudden movements.

Step 5: Exit the Water

If the snake is nearby or you feel uncomfortable in the water, the next step is to exit the water as quickly and calmly as possible.

If you are swimming with others, alert them to the snake’s presence so they can take the necessary precautions.

Once you are out of the water, keep a safe distance from the snake and do not attempt to approach it.

Remember that snakes can swim, so do not assume you are safe just because you are out of the water.

Step 6: Seek Medical Attention

If you are bitten by a snake while swimming, seek medical attention immediately.

Even non-venomous snake bites can cause infections, and venomous snake bites require prompt medical attention.

If possible, try to identify the snake that bit you. It can help medical professionals determine the best course of treatment.

Try to keep the bite area immobilized and lower than your heart to slow the spread of venom.

Do not attempt to suck out the venom or apply a tourniquet, as these methods can worsen the situation.


Can snakes bite underwater?

Yes, snakes can bite underwater. Many species of snakes are capable of swimming and hunting in aquatic environments.

If a snake feels threatened or provoked while swimming or underwater, it may bite in self-defense.

It’s important to be aware of the types of snakes that inhabit the bodies of water you may come across and take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten.

If you are in an area known to have venomous snakes, it’s best to stay out of the water or wear protective gear to reduce the risk of a bite. In the event of a snake bite, seek medical attention immediately.

Should I try to kill the snake if I encounter one?

No, it is not recommended to attempt to kill a snake. Snakes are important ecosystem members and play an important role in controlling pest populations.

How can I prevent encountering a snake while swimming?

Avoid swimming in areas where snakes are known to be present, such as near dense vegetation or areas with a high concentration of prey animals.

What should I do if a snake bites me?

Seek immediate medical attention. Do not attempt to treat the bite yourself, as some snake venom can be extremely toxic.

How can I minimize my risk of encountering a snake while swimming?

Stay aware of your surroundings, avoid swimming alone, and be mindful of your movements and noise level while in the water. Additionally, consider wearing polarized sunglasses, which can help you spot snakes in the water more easily.


Encountering a snake while swimming can be a frightening experience, but it is important to remain calm and take the necessary precautions to stay safe. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can minimize your risk of harm and enjoy a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

It is also important to take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of encountering snakes while swimming. Avoid swimming in areas known to have high snake populations, especially during peak snake activity times, such as the early morning or late afternoon.

Additionally, consider wearing protective gear such as water shoes or long pants and sleeves to minimize your risk of being bitten. Stay alert while swimming, and always be prepared to take the necessary precautions if you encounter a snake.

Related Articles:

Do Snakes Come Out At Night?

Can Snakes be Domesticated?

Can Snakes Breathe Underwater? | A Detailed Guide


Mian Hasnat

As an animal lover since childhood, Mian Hasnat has always had a deep interest in the intricacies of animal life. His passion for animals has only grown over time, and he finds great joy in researching and writing about various aspects of the animal kingdom.

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