Florida's spiny lobster ‘mini season' is just around the corner, and as this annual two-day event is too often marred by tragic diver deaths, Divers Alert Network (DAN) has offered up a host of diving tips to keep lobster-hunters safe.
The lobster ‘mini season' – on 27-28 July – is an event that draws divers from all over the US, but sadly, in the past decade, more than 20 divers have perished in their pursuit of the elusive ‘lobbies'.
In response to this deadly toll, DAN has put out four top tips to help keep divers safe:
Check your air often! It's easy to become distracted and ignore your air supply. Running out of gas is extremely dangerous, so keep an eye on it, and return to the surface with plenty in reserve.
Stay close to your buddy. A dive buddy can provide an alternative air source in an emergency and help free you from entanglement.
Know your limits! Between 20 and 30 percent of dive fatalities are caused by heart attacks. Make an honest and thorough assessment of your fitness before you get in the water. Consider your ability to perform a long surface swim against a strong current if needed.
Plan your dive and dive your plan! Pay close attention to current, depth, marine life, entry and exit points, and overhead boat traffic.
DAN president and CEO Bill Ziefle said: “The best thing you can do to avoid incidents during mini season is to remember the fundamentals of safe diving. And of course, DAN is here to help any diver who needs us.”