2 Divers Die During First 12 Hours of Lobster Mini-Season

MIAMI (D7 Public Affairs) – Coast Guard rescue crews in South Florida have responded to multiple diver rescues during the first several hours of the 2008 lobster mini-season.

Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Fla., responded to an emergency call Wednesday morning when a man lost consciousness and stopped breathing after diving. The man was pronounced dead by local Emergency Medical Services.

Wednesday afternoon, Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla., responded to a diver who did not surface from his dive. He was located underwater by Delray Beach police divers. Coast Guard crews performed CPR and transferred the diver to local EMS, however he was pronounced dead.

“The deaths of two divers during the first 12 hours of lobster mini-season are tragic reminders that diving can be very dangerous,” said Capt. Drew W. Pearson, incident management chief at the Seventh Coast Guard District. “We encourage everyone participating in this event to make safety the number one priority .”

Here are some safety tips to remember before and during a dive:

  • Never dive by yourself.
  • Ensure you have a dive plan and a diving “buddy.”
  • File a float plan with a family member or friend. If you decide to deviate from your original intended plan, notify your emergency contact immediately
  • Check your dive equipment carefully and ensure that equipment functions correctly.
  • Mark the area in which you are diving with a dive flag and a light. This is a federally mandated law and required when divers are in the water.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, hypothermia and dehydration, as well as procedures for emergency treatment.
  • Check local weather conditions before diving.
  • Taking basic safety precautions while diving will increase your chance of surviving a potential diving accident.
  • Boat operators should be alert and aware of dive flags.
  • If you have not been SCUBA diving in the past year, please ensure you are physically capable of handling ocean conditions before diving.

Names of the deceased are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

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