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Old 10-12-2016, 10:55 PM   #1
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Diver run over in Key West

http://www.maritimelawblog.net/2016/...er-by-a-c.html



Snorkeling Injury
By Richard Rusak & Keith Brais on October 10, 2016 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
A diver was severally injured when a charter fishing boat ran him over. The incident occurred off the White Street Fishing Pier in Key West last Saturday, October 8th. Witnesses stated that the injured diver, along with another man, were displaying the legally mandated divers-down flags when the charter boat struck him at a high rate of speed. It appears that a propeller from the boat nearly severed diver's left foot. The captain of the fishing boat retrieved the injured diver from the water and reported the incident to law enforcement. The captain was directed to return to shore where Key West Fire Rescue responded. The injured diver was taken to an area hospital. There have been no reports on the victim's condition at the time of this post.
Florida's Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office investigate such incidents. Florida law requires all divers without boats display a red divers-down symbol with a horizontal white strip that is a minimum of 12 inches by 12 inches which could take the form of a flag of buoy. Florida law also requires boat operators make a reasonable effort to maintain a distance of 300 feet of a divers-down flag or buoy on open waters.
In the civil law context, a boat operator who violates a safety statute, like Florida's diver statutes, is presumed at fault and liable for the victim's damages. The boat operator can only rebut this presumption by showing that the safety statute violation could not have been a cause of the accident. It is not likely that the boat operator can overcome this presumption as if a distance of 300 feet was maintained, the diver would not have been run over.

Below is a video report by The Blue Paper.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: Diver run over in Key West

Hope he recovers and gets back into the water soon.Ill give the Captain credit for being decent enough to take responsibility and help the victim instead of running and calling his lawyer like a bitch.
When we are diving it looks like a parade.We have at least one flag on the boat flying and at least one in the water.Idiots STILL come screaming by.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:15 PM   #3
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Re: Diver run over in Key West

I do not know why captains do not treat driving a boat like driving a car, especially on congested waters such as these. A constant scan of what is ahead, behind, and left and right, and a constant attention to the task, and a constant focus on situational awareness and position, would end these kind of accidents.

That is how I drive my boat. Just like I drive my car, and with just as much diligence and attention. Safety of myself and others demands nothing less.

Driving a boat is a full time job.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:49 PM   #4
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Re: Diver run over in Key West

I know the 22 year old captain who hit the dude.
These guys were shore diving (exceedingly rare here in key west)
they were also less than 200 ft from the end of the white st pier- which is a major "highway" for all the charter boats and jet ski tours that travel through that area at a high rate of speed.
It was 8 am and all the charter captains were heading out of hurricane hole marina.
Furthermore- there is no patch reef- nothing to dive in that area.
To be clear- it is definbatly the captain's fault.
But - these guys were in the worst possible place to do what they were doing.
An anbalogy I would give is" pedestrians have right of way- so cars are never allowed to hit someone- Knowing that- If I decide to look for loose change on the FL turnpike early in the morning- and I get hit by a car- It will be tragic and it will be the drivers fault automatically- but is it a surprise?
If these guys dove the same spot 100 times- they would get hit probably 10% (or more) of the time.
The patvch reef off the beach at smather's breach is loaded with short fish (about it) and it's 1.2 to 1.5 miles off the beach-( that puts these guys around a mile from any fish-) it's hard to miss and the captain's avoid that line when traveling east to west because some of the rocks are very shallow.
when I used to dive the area- tyhe biggest threat is the jet ski tours coming through at 40mph. Those people will actually come toward a dive flag to see what it is.
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