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DAN Reminds Divers to Dive Safe During Lobster Mini Season

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DAN Reminds Divers to Dive Safe During Lobster Mini Season

Plan your dive, dive your plan, stay near your buddy, and check your air often

PR Newswire

DURHAM, N.C., July 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- It's almost lobster mini season in Florida — an exciting time to be a diver for sure. But why are the two days that make up lobster mini season the most dangerous 48 hours of diving in Florida each year?

Florida FWC issues more than 50,000 permits annually for lobster mini season, which will take place on July 25 and 26 this year. With everyone searching the same spots, it can get crowded underwater. Lobsters are nocturnal — and fast — which can make it easy to get distracted and lose track of your buddy, especially if you're hunting at night. Even more important, it's easy to lose track of your air supply. With divers pushing themselves to physical, technical and skill limits, there's a potential for serious trouble.

"DAN research shows that hunters are more likely to run out of air or experience a gas embolism than non-hunters because of task loading or distractions," said Petar Denoble, DAN Vice President of Mission. "So whether it's mini season or the regular season, taking the time to prepare can prevent injury and/or death. For example, if you're not a certified night diver, take a course now if you plan to hunt at night. And, of course, before you hit the water, review with your buddy procedures for running out of air or getting separated."

What else can divers do to stack the deck in their favor while lobster hunting?

  1. Check your air — often. While this may sound obvious, it's one of the most forgotten safety measures while hunting. A good rule of thumb? Come back to the surface with at least 500 PSI.
  2. Dive with a buddy, and stay close. Your buddy can help if you get tangled or share air if you run out.

Should an incident happen, call:

  1. 911
  2. DAN at +1 (919) 684-9111

"Over the last 10 years there have been 20 diver deaths during lobster mini season. DAN research also shows that divers who participate in lobster mini season have a 140 percent higher risk of dying while diving than at any other time while diving in Florida," said Bill Ziefle, DAN President and CEO. "We want divers to have fun during mini season, but mostly we want them to come back safely. These goals are not mutually exclusive."

Additional lobster mini season safety tips include:

  • Be physically ready to dive. Ask yourself if you're prepared for the rigors of the hunt. It's ok to say you're not feeling well or to accept that your gear shrunk over the winter and no longer fits. Either rent gear that does (and test it first), or stay dry and buy your bugs at the store.
  • Plan your dive carefully and stick to your plan. Find out about prevailing currents, local underwater hazards, entry/exit points, boat traffic and other marine life that might not take kindly to your poaching their dinner.
  • Do buddy checks. Don't just think your buddy's gear is in good working order, know it.
  • Don't drink and dive. Wait until you're back on dry land to celebrate your haul.
  • Check your medications. Some prescription and over-the-counter meds are not conducive to rigorous diving. Check with your doctor or call DAN to see if there are any issues you need to be aware of.

To see other lobster mini-season safety tools and tips and download the infographic, go to: DAN.org/Lobster.

For up-to-date information about lobster mini season regulations, go to http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/lobster.

Need to join DAN or renew your membership before mini season?
Go to DAN.org/join.

About DAN: The world's most recognized and respected dive safety organization, Divers Alert Network (DAN) has remained committed to the health and well-being of divers for 38 years. The organization's research, medical services and global-response programs support an extensive network capable of reaching divers with vital injury-prevention initiatives, educational programs and lifesaving evacuations. Every day, hundreds of thousands of divers around the world look to DAN as their dive safety organization.

Media Contact: sjamroz@dan.org  

 

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SOURCE Divers Alert Network

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