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Angler charged after pulling up diver

Discussion in 'Diving Litigation' started by trtldvr, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. trtldvr

    trtldvr Instructor, Scuba

    Angler charged after pulling up diver

    BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
    [SIZE=+0]A biologist collecting data in 55 feet of water near the Western Dry Rocks last month was jerked to the surface by a fishermen apparently angry that her dive flag was in his fishing spot, according to law enforcement officials.
    That fisherman, 74-year-old Donald A. Bamford of Stock Island, was arrested Wednesday on a misdemeanor battery charge after a monthlong investigation by state and federal law enforcement agencies.
    Alison Johnson, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Marine Research Institute, was collecting data on the mutton snapper spawn on the seafloor just south of the Western Dry Rocks on May 9 when Bamford grabbed her dive flag and used the line to drag her topside in less than a minute, said State Attorney's Office investigator Franklin Cohens.
    Johnson told Bamford she needed to decompress, but witnesses said the fisherman began arguing with her about ruining his fishing spot, said Coast Guard Investigative Service Resident in Charge Paul Shultz.
    Eventually, Johnson convinced Bamford to release the line so she could dive and decompress, but by that time she was suffering from a severe headache and made her way back to a FWC research boat, where fellow scientists treated her en route to shore, Cohens said.
    Johnson was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center, where she was treated and released.
    The Coast Guard told the FWC that Johnson was in state waters, which puts the case under the jurisdiction of the State Attorney's Office. FWC officers asked that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, become involved because the incident involved a FWC employee, said NOAA Fisheries Special Agent Kenneth Blackburn.
    Johnson, who works out of the FWC's Marathon Marine Research Institute office, said she was not authorized to discuss the case.
    Bamford, who is charged with misdemeanor battery, was released from the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island at 10 p.m. Wednesday after posting $2,000 bail, according to Sheriff's Office records.
    Bamford has one other violation, according to Clerk of Court records. He was cited for careless operation of a vessel in April 2011 and paid a fine.
    Fuzzy shank, Jax and openmindOW like this.
  2. Danseur

    Danseur Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    He's getting off WAY too easy....
    k ellis, Fuzzy shank, NAM001 and 13 others like this.
  3. vapourinthesea

    vapourinthesea Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Wisconsin, USA
    wow, I'm pretty sure that's when you kick him between the legs and dive back down. But why didn't she just release the dive flag line and let it go up, as she stayed down? Then stick some seaweed all throughout the propeller :)

    ---------- Post Merged at 12:48 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 12:47 AM ----------

    I totally agree with Danseur, way way too easy.
    Fuzzy shank, stinggirl and Magnolia3 like this.
  4. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    Need to confiscate his boat. That might make in impression.
    k ellis, DMDavid, NAM001 and 8 others like this.
  5. supergaijin

    supergaijin Dive Shop

    I guess she was clipped to the float and couldn't release.
    Should be attempted murder if the guy knew anything about diving.
  6. trtldvr

    trtldvr Instructor, Scuba

    We can only hope that since she works with FWC, they make him regrett it.

    Safe dives

    JamesK likes this.
  7. Scuba_Noob

    Scuba_Noob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria, BC
    At the very least, some sort of assault charge. The fisherman knew that it was a dive flag and that he was pulling up a diver. Regardless of whether or not that was a rightful fishing spot, that doesn't justify assault. Even if he didn't know the specifics of the dangers of an immediate ascent, he likely knew that it wasn't safe.

    I've been hooked by a fisherman before. It's a very nerve-wracking experience being tugged up. In my case, I was able to cut the line and was only dragged up around 10ft or so. Fishermen should know that bubbles mean divers and that they shouldn't fish where the bubbles are.
    Fuzzy shank and gtto like this.
  8. Ste Wart

    Ste Wart Master Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: England
    She needed to decompress from a 55' dive? How long was she down for???????
  9. Lemna

    Lemna DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Belgium
    She ascended rather fast:

    [SIZE=-0]"Bamford grabbed her dive flag and used the line to drag her topside in less than a minute[/SIZE]"
  10. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    I know her. She had a loop in her buoy line around her wrist and couldn't release the buoy. She didn't need deco, she'd only been down 20 min or so. She needed to be left alone, she had noticed a boat above her and was trying to swim away when assaulted.

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