RIVIERA BEACH, Fla - Lobster mini season is on the horizon and on the minds of thousands of divers gearing up for the big hunt. Yet with every season comes its share of trauma.
"Our biggest problem we run into, people getting caught up in the moment running out of air," says Gerry Carroll of Jupiter Dive Center
Carroll issues a stern warning every year to his charters as more and more divers forget about their gauges and find themselves in St. Mary's hyperbaric chamber. It's a critical piece of equipment that serves as the only 24 hour chamber in Palm Beach, Broward and Martin County.
"Mini season seems to attract a bunch of people that don't spend a whole bunch of time in the water so they want to go out there and get their fill of lobster," says Matt Haywood.
Haywood has worked as a tech in the chamber for 12 years. He says inevitably mini season will likely bring more divers into the hyperbaric chamber room.
"When you've got that lobster in front of you, you're trying to get it out of the hole, time seems to stand still but it really doesn't, you tend to stop watching your gauges and watch bugs crawl and all of a sudden you realize your out of time, out of air, you bolt to the surface that's when the problems start," says Haywood.
The chamber adds pressure that takes divers to the equivalent of 60 feet where they spend roughly 5 to 7 hours. 11 divers have already spent time in the chamber this year.
"Plan your dive, dive your plan," says Haywood.
It's a good piece of advice and one reason for 'bug' hunters to pay attention.
"No lobster is worth losing their life over it," says Carroll.
For more information on the rules an regulations for lobster mini season click here.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W . Scripps Company and Angie's List
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