MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Lobster-lovers getting ready to dive this lobster mini-season, which begins at 12:01 Wednesday morning, are being urged by Coast Guard officials to do so safely.
Lobster mini-season is set to start a minute after the clock strikes midnight on July 24th, and will end on Thursday, July 25th.
A significant amount of boaters and divers are expected to hit Florida’s coastal waters in hopes of catching some lobsters, and the Coast Guard is urging all those participating to indulge carefully as more people could lead to an increase in accidents.
In addition to grabbing the nets, glove, tickle sticks and whatever else needed to catch the spiny sea critters, the coast guard wants all those participating to practice caution before and after diving with the following tips:
- Check your dive gear before your dive and monitor your air during your dive.
- Do practice dives before the season starts. Use the preseason time to refresh your skills and improve your fitness. Remember that an underwater hunt is more stressful than a recreational dive.
- Do not dive outside your physical capabilities.
- Ensure you have a dive plan and are diving with a buddy.
- File a float plan with a family member or a nearby marina. Stick to a time frame while diving and let someone know if it changes.
- Ensure you are wearing reflective material on your dive suit.
- Mark the area in which you are diving with a dive flag and a light.
- While piloting a boat, stay aware of your surroundings. Remember divers can get separated from their flags and boats.
- Remember, taking all the basic safety precautions will facilitate an increased chance of helping or finding a diver in the event Coast Guard assistance is needed.
The Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with other agencies, will be patrolling waters surrounding the area to ensure all those out to catch lobster are complying with federal and state regulations.
For more information on Florida’s regulations regarding lobster season visit, click here.