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June 2011    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 26, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Avoid the Dive Boat Propellor

dive flag do’s and don’ts

from the June, 2011 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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As summer starts, more divers are doing local trips in U.S. waters, where they're sharing the waves with jet skis, speedboats and other craft with fast propellors. The two don't mix, but we keep hearing several stories a year a divers who suffer severe - - or fatal - - wounds from fast-moving boats, spinning propellers, even dive boats.

James Shelley, 46, was surfacing from a dive a mile east of Boca Raton, FL, in January when he was hit by a commercial 23-foot boat), and the propeller severely slashed his shoulder and arm. The Sun-Sentinel says Shelley and the vessel were displaying dive flags, so we assume the vessel was a dive boat. Shelley made it to the hospital for recovery. Ulrik Pederson, 28, also had to be rushed to the hospital last April after being run over by a glass-bottom tour boat in New Zealand's Leigh Harbor. The impact sliced open Pederson's arm, broke one bone and dislocated another. He said he had an inflatable buoy and flag on a 60-foot line marking his position. The boat owners say he had a buoy but there was no proper dive flag up. The most high-profile diver killed this way was British singer and songwriter Kristy MacColl, who was killed in Cozumel waters by a speeding boat in 2004....



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