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Passing Boater Finds Lost Diver

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Ed Jewell, Apr 1, 2002.

  1. Ed Jewell

    Ed Jewell Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Melbourne, FL/Shavertown, PA
    This story came out of my Florida Today newspaper this morning.

    Sebastian Inlet: A diver that floated for 19 hours in the Atlantic Ocean was found 15 miles east of Sebastion Inlet by a passing boater Sunday morning, U.S. Coast Guard officials say.

    Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Dana Morrison said Carlos Duarte, 41, drifted away fro his boat anchored off of Vero Beach around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

    "He went out from FT. Pierce with two friends and when he went into the water, the people on the boat didn't see him come back up," Morrison said. "He had come up, but was too far from the boat."

    The boat's radio didn't work and the boaters didn't know how to use the flares, Morrison said, so the two stayed anchored offshore all night.

    "AT about 6 a.m., a recreational boater saw them and used his radio to notify us," Morrison said.

    Inian River County Fire Rescue Lt. Blades Robinson and depoarment dive teams jouined the search for Duarte about 8:30 a.m.

    Morrison sad a passing boater found Cuarte around 10:30 a.m. and took hom to shore at the inlet where he was treated for sunburn and dehydration, but declined hospitalization.

    This happens about a dozen times a year to divers outside of Sebastian.
  2. landlocked

    landlocked Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: South Eastern Idaho USA
    So what is the moral to this story? Look at your cimpass? Buy a radio? Pay attention to where you are going? Don't go diving near Sebastian Inlet? Were was the buddy? I would be interested to see if anyone would admit to a similar plight and give us some good guidance on how to avoid it.
  3. Butch103

    Butch103 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southeast Ontario (Marmora)
    Don't dive in unfamiliar waters without knowledge....don't dive with dummy buddies whom don't know how to conduct a search.....how many more did you want......
  4. Ed Jewell

    Ed Jewell Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Melbourne, FL/Shavertown, PA
    The ledges 10 - 15 miles out of Sebastian Inlet are prime lobstering grounds. This is where divers go that are serious about getting the big bugs. Basically there is nothing else to do out there except hunt.

    Since lobster season closed as of Sunday, I'm assuming this man wanted to do one last lobstering dive of the season.

    Let's do some monday-morning-quarter backing and look at his errors in judgment.

    1. His boat had an inopperable radio

    2. From the story, it sounds like he was the only one with competent boating skills (ie he was the only one that could operate the boat). I get this because the others didn't pull anchor and conduct a search.

    3. Didn't dive with a buddy. From the story it sounds like he was diving solo.

    4. Didn't dive with some sort of a surface marker (Dive flag or large buoy).

    Most lobster divers, who are in the know, dive this area in teams and conduct them as drift dives. One team remains in the boat while the other is in the water towing a large red surface buoy. A competent boat opperator always is in the boat.
  5. Scubaroo

    Scubaroo Great White

    And my dive buddies laugh at my safety sausage and strobe light...

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