THE THRILL OF THE HUNT

Each lobster season is marked by unexpected injuries and fatalities as divers rush to get into the water. With Florida's mini-season in particular, eagerness to get in the water combined with a 48 hour season and restricted bag limits can push divers to exceed the limits of their fitness, preparation, and skill level, leading to dive accidents. In fact, research shows that hunters are more likely to run out of air or experience gas embolisms than non-hunters as a result of task loading or distraction. Take the time to prepare for your hunting season now – know the risks before you go so you can focus on filling your bag when the time comes.

LOBSTER MINI-SEASON SAFETY TIPS

CHECK YOUR AIR

Check your air often and plan to reach the surface with at least 1/3rd of your tank in reserve.

HUNT WITH A BUDDY

A buddy can provide an alternate air source in an emergency and help free you from entanglement.

LISTEN TO YOUR BUDDY

Take an honest and thorough look at your fitness to dive before you get in the water.

PLAN YOUR DIVE

Plan your dive carefully, and pay close attention to current, depth, marine life, entry and exit points, and overhead boat traffic.

SHARE OUR SAFETY MESSAGE.

Each diver is responsible for his or her safety during the dive. Don't rely on the experience of other divers. Knowing your personal limits and recognizing when you are outside your level of training or comfort zone can help prevent an accident from occurring. And remember, anyone can call off the hunt at any time if the dive isn't going as planned. Download our lobster hunting safety infographic and share with your dive buddy.

Lobster Hunting Safety Tips for 2018 (infographic)
DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC

ADDITIONAL SAFETY TIPS

 

 

NEVER DRINK AND DIVE

Alcohol diminishes reaction time, concentration, information processing, judgment and motor skills, all of which negatively impact dive safety for you and your buddy. If you plan to participate in Florida's lobster mini-season, wait to celebrate until after you’re back on land.

DON'T BE LEFT IN THE DARK

Some of the best lobster hunting occurs at night. Make sure you’re comfortable night diving and dealing with emergencies after dark before the season begins, and stay alert for increased boat traffic and decreased surface visibility.

CONSIDER YOUR MEDICATIONS

Certain medications can elevate the risk of injury while diving. If your health status has changed since your last dive, schedule a physical exam with your physician to discuss if your current fitness level is suitable for the demands of diving.

CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT

Equipment failures are a perennial issue with lobster season. If your gear has been dry for a few weeks, have it professionally checked and re-familiarize yourself with it before you hit the water.

CARRY YOUR DAN MEMBERSHIP CARD

Bring your DAN Membership card and your medical contact information with you on your dives. Make sure that you and your buddy know where to quickly access this information in event of an emergency. These simple steps can help get you faster and more efficient care in an emergency.

NEED HELP? CALL 911 FIRST. THEN CALL DAN.

In the event of a dive emergency, always call 911 first to notify local emergency response personnel. Once the situation is under control, call the DAN Emergency Hotline +1-919-684-9111

ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE

It’s easy to assume that an accident can’t happen to you. Fatality data has shown that an average of 2 deaths occur from Florida's lobster mini-season each year, and these occur in divers both new and experienced alike. Whether you’re a new diver or a long time instructor, take the time to prepare for the season properly.

29

COMPLETED 60+ DIVES (%)

76

MAX DIVE DEPTH (FT)

48

AVERAGE AGE

50

MARRIED (%)

SAFETY IS OUR BUSINESS

Safety is not something that should be taken lightly. Recently, the DAN team had the chance to catch up with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission about protocols that can help keep divers safe during this year's mini-lobster season.

 

Safety Tip #1 - Prepare and know the rules

Safety Tip #2 - Dive with a buddy and check your air

Safety Tip #3 - Always use a dive flag