MONROE COUNTY – Florida’s annual lobster mini-season is officially over and in the Florida Keys, while it was a busy season, there were no fatal accidents, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The most serious injury reported involved a diver who was struck by a boat propeller. He was taken to Mariners Hospital before being airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center with injuries to his foot and leg. His injuries were not expected to be life-threatening.

The Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the search for a missing diver near Spanish Harbor Bridge, but the diver was located safely shortly thereafter.

The same cannot be said for a diver off Hillsboro Inlet. 70-year-old Peter Mendez of Davie died on Wednesday while hunting lobster.

In the Florida Keys, deputies on the water reported most anglers were harvesting lobster legally, but there are always violators.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office checks boat during Florida’s lobster mini-season. (Credit: Monroe County Sheriff’s Office)

From Key Largo to Key West, deputies made nearly 600 vessel stops, three arrests, and issued 40 notices to appear in court for undersized/over-the-bag limit or other violations.

The arrests were for one over-the-limit, one person had a warrant unrelated to mini-season and the third was drug related.

These figures do not include cases from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Highway Patrol, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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