FL Keys mini-season fatality

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mselenaous

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Mini-season is about to end in a few hours but not without a price:


Man dies while diving for lobster off the Upper Keys - KeysNet.com

Man dies while diving for lobster off the Upper Keys


A Pennsylvania man died Thursday while diving for lobster off Plantation Key in the Upper Keys.
The 52-year-old man, whose name hasn't been released because his family hasn't been notified, was diving from a private boat with two friends in the area of Davis Reef.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Becky Herrin said the man and one of the friends were diving together when the victim signaled he wanted to surface. The two did just that but as the friend was removing his gear, he looked back and saw the victim had slipped back under the surface, Herrin said.
The friend went back in and pulled the victim to the boat but he was unresponsive. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was started and 911 was called as they headed to shore. They got in at the Tavernier Creek Marina, where paramedics took over and took the man to Mariners Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.
 

EL Pistoffo

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Every year mini-season gets crazier. I've dove around various parts of the keys during mini-season over the past couple decades. I've gotten tired of the high volume of irresponsible SOB's. Also, LOTS of plain clothed patrols checking lobster bounties. A few years ago my party was searched by 4 different under-covers in the span of 5 hrs. We were diving a low bridge, Tea-table I think. Needless to say, we were all well in compliance.

The Keys aren't the same Keys I grew up in 20-30 years ago.

More boaters/divers, more accidents.
 

lindenbruce

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Sounds like cardiac arrest. To bad, as a bug is not worth dieing for. ANY bug. Or ANY type of hunting/fishing either. Feel bad for the family. B.
 

letterboy

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Lobster miniseason: diver death - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

What had been a productive, uneventful lobster miniseason turned tragic Thursday with the death of a scuba diver off Plantation Key.The 52-year-old Pennsylvania man was in a private vessel with friends in the area of Davis Reef. The victim signaled to one of his friends that he wanted to surface. They both surfaced, but as the friend was removing his dive gear he looked back and saw that the victim had slipped under the surface.
The friend pulled the victim, who was unresponsive, to the boat. The victim was brought to Tavernier Creek Marina where paramedics took over and transported him to Mariner's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating, it was not known if the men were diving for lobsters.
No diver fatalities or serious accidents were reported in the waters off Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Many divers reported catching their 12-lobster limit on opening day Wednesday under ideal conditions. Thursday's weather was just as nice but lobstering wasn't nearly as good. For Andy Rubin and Chuck Van Buskirk, the spearfishing was great.
On Wednesday, Rubin, Van Buskirk and their dive buddies on Chiefy caught their five-man limit of 60 lobsters within 90 minutes.
Thursday was equally memorable for the black grouper, gag grouper, mutton snapper and four lionfish that Rubin and Van Buskirk shot with their spearguns. They and Braden Whitworth and Jim "Chiefy" Mathie also caught 27 lobsters.
"During miniseason, it's lobster, lobster, lobster, but it's always a good idea to bring a speargun," said Rubin, whose day got off to a great start when, soon after getting to the bottom on his first dive in 40 feet off Boca Raton, he spotted the head of a big black grouper hiding under a rock.
"His head and tail were sticking out. I was thinking, 'I hope he stays there.' He thought he was invisible."
Rubin made one well-placed shot and suddenly grouper was on the dinner menu Thursday instead of lobster.
After that, Rubin and Van Buskirk caught some lobsters, then Rubin bagged the mutton snapper. He and Van Buskirk caught some more lobsters and shot the gag grouper and a lionfish.
Van Buskirk said carrying a speargun during lobster miniseason is not a hindrance to catching lobsters.
"I just set my gun down," he said. "The lobsters aren't going to run away."
 

Rythmmaker

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We were diving with Conch Republic out of Tavernier Creek Marina at the time of the incident and heard a slightly different story from one of the paramedics who was still on the scene when we arrived a few minutes after the victim was transported. Police, paramedics and the coast guard were all still on the scene and interviewing people when we arrived at the dock after our dives. The men's room at Conch Republic Divers at Tavernier Creek Marina was closed, so they were sending people to the Bait and Tackle shop at the other end of the dock (where all the emergency personnel were), and there was a paramedic washing up in the men's room. I asked what was going on (I had no idea at the time) and he told me it was a dive accident - that the victim had a serious leak in his BCD and, at the end of his dive was struggling to stay at the surface, and that his buddy was unable (unclear as to why) to keep him at the surface and get him to the boat. He also told me that the buddy left the distressed diver to go to the boat to get help and when he returned, the victim was on the bottom and unconscious.

I realize this is hearsay, and I did not probe for details. But this was a starting point for our small group of mostly inexperienced divers to practice a "what if" exercise. What if your BC fails and you are negatively buoyant and struggling to get to the surface? In this case, all my new divers answered: ditch your weights, and if your buddy's BC doesn't have enough lift to hold you both up at the surface have HIM ditch his weights, too, so you can both use his BC for flotation and to get back to the boat. None of us could understand why the buddy would leave a distressed, negatively buoyant diver to go to the boat, even for help. But we are operating on second-hand info (at best).
 

mselenaous

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We were diving with Conch Republic out of Tavernier Creek Marina at the time of the incident and heard a slightly different story from one of the paramedics who was still on the scene when we arrived a few minutes after the victim was transported. Police, paramedics and the coast guard were all still on the scene and interviewing people when we arrived at the dock after our dives. The men's room at Conch Republic Divers at Tavernier Creek Marina was closed, so they were sending people to the Bait and Tackle shop at the other end of the dock (where all the emergency personnel were), and there was a paramedic washing up in the men's room. I asked what was going on (I had no idea at the time) and he told me it was a dive accident - that the victim had a serious leak in his BCD and, at the end of his dive was struggling to stay at the surface, and that his buddy was unable (unclear as to why) to keep him at the surface and get him to the boat. He also told me that the buddy left the distressed diver to go to the boat to get help and when he returned, the victim was on the bottom and unconscious.

I realize this is hearsay, and I did not probe for details. But this was a starting point for our small group of mostly inexperienced divers to practice a "what if" exercise. What if your BC fails and you are negatively buoyant and struggling to get to the surface? In this case, all my new divers answered: ditch your weights, and if your buddy's BC doesn't have enough lift to hold you both up at the surface have HIM ditch his weights, too, so you can both use his BC for flotation and to get back to the boat. None of us could understand why the buddy would leave a distressed, negatively buoyant diver to go to the boat, even for help. But we are operating on second-hand info (at best).

In an emergency, there should never be a question about ditching weights. It should be come an automatic response for both the victim and the rescuer. No one's life is worth $100 in lead weights/pockets. If ditching weight isn't sufficient, ditch the gear. You can always come back with a lift bag to retrieve it once everyone is back on board.
These incidences should be evidence enough to convince all divers to take a Rescue course and to refresh rescue skills periodically.

This is another fatality of 2 divers who did not ditch weights or gear in shallow waters: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/ac...re-upper-keys-dive-fatalities-8-6-2011-a.html

"Rescue Diver Course - because the life you save may be your own!"
 

Hatul

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There are some who dive with no ditchable weights, which leaves them without this option. They believe they can always swim up without dropping weights, and feel better without weights on the waist.
 

616fun

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There are some who dive with no ditchable weights, which leaves them without this option. They believe they can always swim up without dropping weights, and feel better without weights on the waist.

This actually isn't the concept behind diving with no weight. Technically - to do this safely you rig a 'balanced' gear configuration that places very little negative weighting on the diver, allowing you to swim the rig up should the situation occur. It is achievable, as I dive such a configuration. To so so you take into account tank options, gear, exposure, etc.

The problem with this is that most people do not have the experience to create such a rig. They think they are balanced until its time to test the theory, then it's too late.

Those of us diving truly balanced rigs also tend to have multiple buoyancy sources (and and drysuit as an example) to get us out of trouble should the need arise.
 

peterbj7

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Many divers use heavy SS backplates which result in some of them being negatively buoyant at all times, requiring air in BC/wing to compensate. Bit of a problem when the need arises to ditch weight.
 

letterboy

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Or you could just inflate your drysuit and surface...
 
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