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Water Safety
MCB Camp Butler Base Safety Office


Winter is here and Okinawa’s ocean will take on different moods, with prevailing wind and swells approaching the island more frequently from the north.

We will see mild temperatures and great weather through much of the winter season, making ocean recreation a continued popular liberty activity in cooler months. This is dangerous, as high winds and an elevated sea state are also associated with Okinawa’s winter. Ocean related mishaps increase from October through April and we must be vigilant to employ personal risk management to prevent off-duty mishaps in the ocean.

One critical statistic highlights that 45 percent of fatal ocean mishaps in Okinawa involve swimmers and snorkelers, particularly those without proper snorkel vests.

Per MARFORJ5101.1Ch1 “To maintain buoyancy and facilitate any necessary rescue, personnel snorkeling and freediving shall wear appropriately-sized vests designed for activity e.g., snorkel vests for snorkeling and freediver recovery vest or snorkel vest for freediving.”

Snorkel vests can be borrowed for no cost, and for up to three days from Tsunami Scuba locations on Camps Schwab, Hansen, Courtney, Foster, Torii Station, and from the Fitness Center on Camp Kinser.

When planning to participate in recreational activities in the ocean, make sure to always;

  • Check your Sea Conditions before entering the water, which can be found on your MCCS Okinawa Liberty App.
  • Wear a floatation device and remember that snorkeling vests are free and available to you.
  • Use the buddy system at all times in the ocean.
  • Have a plan and let someone know where you plan to enter the ocean and what time you expect to return.
  • Consider your abilities as a swimmer, surfer, diver, etc. and plan your ocean recreation accordingly.
  • Always swim, surf, paddle, snorkel, and dive within your limits.

Welcome to Okinawa!  

 The information presented on this webpage offers the military community best safety practices when recreating in and around the waters of Okinawa. Comments, questions or recommendations regarding the content displayed on this webpage should be addressed to the director of safety, Marine Corps Installations Pacific at DSN 315-645-3806.
  Okinawa is a semi-tropical island and the largest in the chain of the Ryukyu's (re-u-que's). Surrounded by world class beaches, the island has a moderate climate with an average annual temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Okinawa thrives from the popular tourism industry and is considered a "hot bed" for a variety of recreational water activities. You can find almost every aquatic sport here from Hari (ha-lee) or dragon boat races, to sports fishing, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing, surfing, and kite boarding.
  When entering coastal waters, pay close attention to water conditions as they can change for the worst in a matter of minutes. Additionally, adhere to posted warning signs and inform others of where you are going and your expected time of return. It is also highly encouraged that personnel enter the water in populated areas as it provides more opportunities to obtain immediate assistance in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, water enthusiasts should use extreme caution as rip currents are widely present throughout the coastline due to the unique coral formations. Finally, have a mobile phone handy and preprogram emergency phone numbers, including the Japan Coast Guard emergency number of 118. Stay safe, enjoy your tour and ensure you take time to view the joint services water safety video and read the current edition of MARFORJO 5100.1. located on this webpage prior to heading to the beach!


 Water safety sharepoint page is available!! click > here 

        Water Safety Video QR Code

                 Click QR code to watch video

water safety videos (dvids)  
Click picture to watch video!
   Snorkel Safety PSA        iNFLATE when NEEDED            Snorkel vest psa                             

USE YOUR TRAINING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE                          ocean safety|MCIPAC


CG'S OKINAWA OCEAN SAFETY MESSAGE                          Love through actions             


              Seconds into hours


Marine Corps Base Camp Butler