Coast Guard to Host First Ever Lobster Diving Rodeo

KEY WEST, Fla., – The Coast Guard and its state and local partners involved in the Florida Keys Safe Diving Initiative are scheduled to host a free educational event Monday in Key West.

The event is scheduled to be held from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Key West Campus of the Florida Keys Community College, 5901 College Rd. and will include a Lobster Diving Rodeo and Dive Safety Expo to help recreational divers refresh their dive skills and knowledge in a fun and controlled environment.

Tragically, 20 divers have lost their lives since last years mini-lobster season making the importance for this training and awareness at an even higher priority.

The event will combine scuba and snorkeling skill stations and games with mini-safety briefings. Skill stations will vary from basic mask clearing, controlled emergency swimming ascents and weight dropping to “tickling” and bagging simulated lobsters. Activities geared specifically toward children will also be included. To participate in scuba activities, attendees must bring a scuba certification card and their own gear. Air fills will be available. Non-certified divers can participate in snorkeling activities.

Mini briefings will include safe boating skills, dive flag use, proper lobster gauging, gear demos, Marine Sanctuary rules, and bends avoidance. Participants can also tour FKCC’s hyperbaric chamber facility.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Participants will be eligible for prizes, drawings and discounts from local dive shops.

For more information on the Florida Keys Safe Diving Initiative, contact Dan LiBrando, U.S. Coast Guard, (305) 292-8809. For more information on the Lobster Diving Rodeo, contact Mary Martin, FKCC, (305) 809-3570. Also please visit the website at http://www.divealive.org/

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