A favorite beach activity of tourists in Florida is scuba diving and snorkeling. People are snorkeling and scuba diving every day in Florida as part of their vacations. When done correctly, snorkeling and scuba diving are completely safe and fun. However, when people become careless, injuries can occur. Playing in the water can be very dangerous and every year people are hurt or even drown in the ocean. If you were injured while snorkeling or scuba diving, our Florida attorney for injuries on snorkel and scuba dives can help you recover damages.
Injuries can range from bumps and bruises to long-lasting brain damage from a lack of oxygen underwater. Death by drowning is also a tragic consequence of negligence while diving. If you have been injured while diving, contact Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. by calling (866) 386-1762. Talk to our staff about scheduling a free legal consultation.
Florida Regulations for Snorkel and Scuba Diving
The State of Florida strictly regulates snorkeling and scuba diving. Regulations can be found under Title 327, Vessel Safety, of the Florida Statutes. These regulations apply to divers as well as the operators of diving boats.
When divers are in the water under these regulations, whether scuba diving or snorkeling, they must display a “divers-down” buoy or flag. The flag or buoy is meant to inform other boat operators that there are people in the water. When other boats see these diver-down displays, they know to avoid the area to avoid injuring divers in the water. Regulations include the size and shape of divers-down displays and how far from these displays divers may go. For example, in rivers and inlets, divers must stay within 100 feet of a divers-down display. In any other waters, like in the ocean, this distance is 300 feet. As divers must stay within this distance from a divers-down display, boaters must remain outside this distance.
In addition to the state’s regulations, diving instructors should also be complying with other safety standards regarding when and where to take people on dives. Instructors should know what kinds of weather conditions make for dangerous diving and what locations to avoid. Areas with strong rip currents, for example, should be avoided. If you were harmed during a dive, please reach out to our Florida lawyer for injuries on snorkel and scuba dives.
Injuries from Snorkel and Scuba Diving Equipment in Florida
If diving equipment is not maintained correctly, it can lead to injuries while diving. Scuba divers rely on underwater breathing devices to breathe while submerged. If this device were to fail or there was insufficient oxygen, a diver could drown. If an underwater breathing device fails during a dive, the diver could have difficulty reaching the surface. Equipment failures during dives are extremely dangerous as they could lead to death by drowning.
Even if the equipment is working properly, if you are not provided with the appropriate instructions, you could misuse the equipment and cause yourself injury. Our opponents may argue that this means you are responsible for your injuries. However, had it not been for the negligent instruction of the diving instructor, your injuries would not have occurred.
Scuba divers and snorkelers also rely on boats to get to their diving destinations. This means the people in charge of your diving experience must also be skilled enough to operate a boat safely. Boating accidents are not uncommon and many divers have been injured in such accidents. If you were injured from a boating accident or faulty diving equipment, contact our Florida lawyer for injuries on snorkel and scuba dives.
Injuries from Snorkel and Scuba Diving Locations in Florida
Even if all the necessary equipment for your dive is in working order, you can still be injured if you dive in a dangerous location. Snorkeling and scuba diving operators must make sure that the diving locations they take customers to are safe. These conditions may change depending on the tide and the weather conditions of the day.
It is possible that a diver, through no fault of their own, could be injured after being pulled into a strong ocean current and getting stranded far away from the diving boat. Alternatively, diving too close to a jetty could see a diver be slammed into rocks by strong waves. If you were injured in an unsafe diving location, please reach out to our Florida attorney for injuries on snorkel and scuba dives.
Who is Responsible for Snorkel and Scuba Diving Injuries in Florida?
Divers generally rely on the diving instructor and boat operator’s knowledge and experience when they go snorkeling or scuba diving. It is safe to say that the average person does not know the ins and outs of safe diving. When the people we rely on for safety fail us, we may get hurt. If you were still injured after following all safety instructions provided to you by a diving instructor, your instructor might be responsible.
Instructors responsible for providing you with necessary information about safe diving are also responsible for ensuring equipment is functioning normally and diving locations are safe. Many injuries can be traced back to the negligence of the diving instructor. However, before moving forward with a lawsuit, we should also examine your own actions and behaviors during the dive.
Florida follows a rule of comparative negligence, which means if you are somewhat to blame for your accident, your damages will be reduced. For example, if the diving instructor told you to stay within 300 feet of the divers-down flag, as per regulations, but you swam outside that zone, you might be at least partially responsible for your injuries. Consult with our Florida lawyer for injuries on snorkel and scuba dives to discuss the details of your specific case.
Contact Our Florida Attorney for Injuries on Snorkel and Scuba Dives for a Legal Consultation
If you were injured as a result of a scuba diving or snorkeling accident, you might be entitled to damages and compensation. Contact our Florida lawyer for injuries on snorkel and scuba dives for a consultation today. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762 to request a consultation.