Florida Mini Season

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Zieg

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We'll, tonight at midnight starts a new season of "Florida Mini Season". My wife and I are planning on hitting it at first light tomorrow morning. We have our own boat and attempt to avoid ****ey oh all the others. I'm looking forward to the stories of the craziness and hopefully NO stories of a accidents. But I want to hear the stories none the less.
 

Ana

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Well do we have a story !

Just as planned we got underway stupid early this morning with the idea of doing 3 dives each. A very good friend of ours joined us, she stay home for the night so the 3 of us were ready to go after a quick cup of coffee. Big cooler full of fruit, water, sandwiches , some sweets, and cocktail ingredients for the way back.

Not many boats in the intracoastal but as soon as we get out of the inlet the shoreline is just covered with boats, they appeared to be all around in 15-25' of water, who knows maybe 30 just very close to shore. Easily over 100 vessels from the Lighthouse Pt inlet south to maybe Oakland/Commercial Blvd, I can't see well past that so I can't tell farther south.

Oh well, we don't like to dive that line of reef anyways, our favorite is farther out on the 40-60' feet and there was NO BOATS there, nothing, almost felt for a moment like we didn't get the memo, but didn't care. While suiting up my friend starts feeling seasick but optimistic that once she gets one dive things will settle for her.

My husband dive was good but he reported very heavy current, lots of life but not so many lobster, he got 2. Friend and I go in and right away we are greeted with a huge turtle, that distracted us for few minutes, right away 3 cuttlefish got on my face and that was another bunch of minutes, we ended up only getting 1 lobster but a great time.

As soon as my friend goes on board, she starts turning grayish-green again. She drinks water, Gatorade, eats apples and just tried to soldier on, Husband comes back for dive #2 with 3 lobsters and a big smile on his face saying we need to dive that same location because it was gorgeous. Alright I help my friend a little and as soon as we hit the water she's fine.

Sure enough the locations was great, a huge school of barracuda, big grouper that knew there was no spear guns around so just hung around us for a bit, got in the sand to check the garden eels, and some other creatures that just distracted us from the lobster mission, we came up with 3 this time and again a huge sense of satisfaction, at least I did.

Unfortunately things didn't improve for my friend, My husband started his #3 but topside she started to feel worse, and suddenly she complained of tingling in one arm, dammit, the water was so blue in that area and I wasn't going to dive #3.

Ok we have a big bottle of O2, WTF is not there where we always keep it. Fvvvvck... let me recall my husband and get the Coast Guard. Get by flag rev 3 times twice and right away I see the change in the bubbles … he didn't do the 3 minutes safety, but also didn't shoot to the surface. I asked him about the O2 and he reminded my that we decided to get a 2 bottle set on a pelican case by the first aid kit... Good, set the first bottle up and put her on oxygen .
Called the coast guard and started heading to the inlet.

Right away her symptoms go away with the O2 which tells me this may be IT, even if she didn't do anything truly wrong besides being seasick, she was on NItrox, came up way before NDL we both came up super slow both times, because I was dealing with the lobster on one dive and the 2nd it was just too pretty to rush up.

But wait there's more!! while communicating with the Coast Guard my husband spots some people in the water waving him... waaaatt no boats anywhere to be found and these 2 are waving like their arms are going to lift them off the water.
My friend is somehow stable, we can't just leave these divers … OK hurry it up, put the ladder down and start assisting but not feeling very compassionate.

It was a very young woman ..mid 20's maybe I dunno she looked 12, and the guy maybe late 20's or mid 30's. Neither one of them very good at climbing up a ladder. On top of that my deck was bit cluttered with my husband taking his gear in a hurry and the O2 bottles, just not a lot of room and these 2 just wanted to explain stuff and be in the middle... granted there was not much room to go to but they couldn't even take their fins off by themselves.
I took 2 surgical masks and told them to put it on and just shut it... They were safe but will have to wait until we take care of my friend.

At this point the small bottle of O2 was empty and now her neck was tingling, I set up bottle #2 and soon after we are surrounded by what appeared to be Coast Guard, Tow Boat, and Broward Rescue, Couple of guys from Broward rescue were about to board our boat while I was giving her the 2nd bottle of O2,,, yeah more people in the crowded boat, no actually I was grateful to see them, they started talking to her, taking her vitals and doing what they do.
One of the Broward Rescue guys told the 2 other divers to chill until they get my friend to an ambulance that was waiting on land by the lighthouse. Transited to the dock by that CG set of buildings and they took her out to the chamber in Palm Beach ... St Mary's . The other 2 divers disappeared at that moment.

After communicating with her, she is taking a chamber ride for 6 or so hours. Her husband went there for company.

Sitting home now just wondering what tomorrow will bring. We are taking the big bottle of O2, just in case.
 

Ana

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Wow! No thanks from the other two divers, where did they come from?

I'm ok with them disappearing, I don't excuse them losing their boat and becoming a potential Darwin Award, but maybe I was a bit harsh when I gave them the masks and told them get out of the way.
Sort of wonder how does the story will sound told from their point of view.
 

letterboy

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@Ana said she wasn't feeling very compassionate at that moment...

I would have marked them on GPS and called them in without slowing down....
 

scubadada

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I'm ok with them disappearing, I don't excuse them losing their boat and becoming a potential Darwin Award, but maybe I was a bit harsh when I gave them the masks and told them get out of the way.
Sort of wonder how does the story will sound told from their point of view.
Maybe, some very nice people picked us up and brought us back to shore. Don't you wonder what their boat should have been thinking, we lost a couple of divers, maybe we should call it in? Mind boggling, I skip mini-season for good reasons
 

Zieg

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So this is it? The only drama was my own? Oh, and by the way, the person who got a hit spent a couple of hours in a chamber and given a clean bill of health. My wife and I went back out on Thursday and it really didn't seem ant different than any weekend, maybe a few more than normal number of boats tied up to the shallow mooring balls, but didn't affect us since we went deeper. She did see a beautiful hammerhead. Aaaaaand we haven't heard a word from the two we picked up.
 

letterboy

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This morning the coast guard helicopter flew in as we were at the beach... Came up from the south and went inland...

Ohh there was also a boat anchored inside the swim buoys diving with no one on topside...

But I haven't heard of any injuries....
 
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