Small turnout helps to limit accidents

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Posted by on July 29, 2005 at 11:42:53:

In Reply to: Florida mini-bug season diver deaths posted by on July 29, 2005 at 11:39:05:

Far fewer lobster hunters took to the waters Thursday for the final day of the mini-season, and the results were no accidents or injuries, according to state officials who monitor the annual event.

"So far so good," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Steve Acton. "My officers say there are not nearly as many people out there today."

That was good news after Wednesday, when three bodies ended up at the Monroe County Medical Examiners office in the Keys, all scuba divers who had been in search of lobsters.

The last to be identified was Larry Hancock, 54, of Fort Myers, who was diving with friends in the morning in the lower Keys. Myers had surfaced and signaled to his wife that there was a problem, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's office.

After Myers slipped back under the water, divers from nearby boats were able to find him in about eight feet of water and bring him back to his boat. Myers was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital, according to the sheriff's report.

The Sheriff's Office had earlier recovered the body of 49-year-old Larry Dobson of Loxahatchee, who had been missing since Sunday. Dobson was in the water removing his dive gear after scouting for lobsters near Bahia Honda State Park, but still had on his weight belt when he let go of the boat to recover a dive flag that was drifting away, according to the Sheriff's Office. Dobson went under and was not found until a snorkler discovered his body Wednesday morning.

Robert Neville Moore, 58, who worked for the Broward Sheriff's Office, died Wednesday diving in the Keys.

Autopsies were performed on Moore and Hancock on Thursday but results won't be available for at least 60 days, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

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