Mini Lobster Season takes place during the final Wednesday and Thursday of each July. Tens of thousands of divers take to Florida’s waters and search eagerly for spiny lobster. They hope to return safely. Unfortunately, those who don’t make it often suffer cardiac events. Lobster diving is fun and exciting, but it’s also very strenuous. Knowing how to stay safe is key. Mini Lobster Season might be over, but it’s still good to be aware of safe diving practices. Keep reading to learn more.
What common mistakes do divers make?
Cardiac arrest while underwater is one of the most common causes of divers drowning. Swimming against a current might not seem like a big deal, but swimming 100 yards back to the boat can exhaust just about anyone. Anyone with a chronic or acute illness should not participate.
Only dive to your experience level.
If you only dive during lobster season and stay above water the rest of the year, don’t try to dive beyond your comfort level. This can lead to a variety of problems.
Currents, tides, and weather matter.
Summer storms are real and can be dangerous. Know the tides, because they can often create currents and hinder visibility. Currents can easily exhaust divers.
Find a diving buddy.
Every year, divers go missing. That’s why it’s good to have a friend to keep track of your whereabouts.
If another boat is using a diving spot, find another one. This will prevent any accidents from happening.
Have your license on hand, and follow regulations.
Required licenses include a saltwater fishing license ($17 if fishing/diving from shore) and a valid spiny lobster permit for Florida residents ($5). If you’re not a Florida resident, saltwater fishing licenses are more expensive ($47 annual, $30 seven day, or $17 three day), and you also need the lobster permit ($5).
Lobster Sport Season is July 28th and 29th, and the Regular Season is August 6th through March 31st.