Florida has excellent diving conditions. In addition to excellent weather and warm waters, the coast off of Florida has some amazing features, including shipwrecks and reefs which are very popular with divers. Each year, many visitors and tourists arrive in Florida just for the purpose of diving. While most divers in Florida leave with great memories and smiles, each year some divers are injured and even killed in diving accidents. In 2011, nine divers have been killed in the Florida Keys alone.
1) Instruction. Divers must be certified in order to take part in most diving activities. More complex dives – such as dives into shipwrecks – require additional certification and training. Just as new drivers in Florida are more at risk of Florida car accidents, new divers are more at risk of personal injury and accidents. In one of the most recent Florida diving accidents, one of the two divers who passed away after a diving accident had limited experience.
2) Operators. Divers require boats and assistance at dive sites and there are a number of operators in Florida, offering diving adventure packages. Quality operators take additional precautions to ensure that divers ensure safe dives.
3) Human error. In some cases, human error contributes to diving accidents and fatalities. In a recent diving accident off Florida’s Plantation Key, divers may have made some errors when trying to share a regulator mouthpiece. In that diving accidents, two divers lost their lives.
4) Equipment Failure. Divers require a range of equipment for diving, including an “octopus” regulator mouthpiece to assist breathing, tanks of gas and oxygen, and weights and buoyancy compensators to control the dive. When equipment failure takes place – due to faulty equipment or for other reasons – fatalities can occur. For example, during the Plantation Key accident, a diver’s air line was leaking and the diver was unable to use her buoyancy compensator to bring two divers up to the surface. In cases where equipment is faulty, divers and their families may have a Florida products liability case.
5) Physical condition. Many individuals do not realize that diving is actually riskier than driving a car. Diving can put additional pressure on the heart and lungs as well as on other organs, especially during deeper dives. Divers need to be in good physical condition and in physically fit shape in order to dive. Underlying medical problems can cause complications on a dive and can lead to accidents or injuries.
If you would like to take advantage of Florida’s amazing dive sites, the Flaxman Law Group hopes that you will have a wonderful and injury-free experience. However, to help prevent diving accidents, the legal team would also like to remind readers to:
1) Check equipment or have an instructor check equipment before each dive.
2) Get the training and certification you need for your dive and work your way up slowly to more challenging dives as you gain experience.
3) Dive with experienced divers.
4) Check the credentials and experience of diving instructors and diving operators before signing up.
If you have been injured in a Florida dive or have a loved one who has been injured in a diving accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your case. The Flaxman Law Group has helped thousands of personal injury victims in Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead.