Coast Guard assists in medavacing snorkeler near Plantation Key

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada small boat crew assists in medevacing an unconscious snorkeler near Plantation Key, Florida, Nov. 15, 2020. Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification from the Lost Continent crew, reporting a snorkeler unconscious and unresponsive. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Wilfredo Lugo)

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada small boat crew assists in medevacing an unconscious snorkeler near Plantation Key, Florida. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Wilfredo Lugo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard responded Saturday to a report of an unconscious snorkeler aboard the commercial dive boat, Lost Continent, near Plantation Key.

Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification from the Lost Continent crew, reporting a snorkeler unconscious and unresponsive. As the Lost Continent crew began performing CPR on the man aboard the boat, the watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Station Islamorada small boat crew to assist.

The small boat crew arrived on scene and provided an escort to the Lost Continent into Casa Mar Village near Tavernier Creek where the man was transferred to awaiting EMS for further transport to Mariner’s Hospital for additional medical care.

“We appreciate the swift communication from the Lost Continent crew,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Corey Maples, Sector Key West duty prevention officer. “It is important to know your physical limitations when doing water activities.”

The Coast Guard recommends these safety precautions when diving or snorkeling:

  • Check in with your doctor before diving.
  • Check the weather.
  • Check your gear.
  • Don’t dive beyond your certification level.
  • Don’t dive or snorkel alone.

Additionally, divers or snorkelers should consider these safety points when using dive boats or other conveyances:

  • If using a commercial passenger vessel or hiring a boat to enjoy water activities, ensure the boat is under the command of a credentialed mariner and has been recently inspected by the Coast Guard if carrying more than six passengers
  • Be aware of emergency procedures on all passenger boats, including the location of lifesaving equipment and means of egress and escape.
  • Reduce potential fire hazards by limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries in devices such as cell phones and small cameras.
  • All mariners are reminded to remain vigilant when navigating areas where a dive flag is displayed.

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