The first South Florida death related to lobster miniseason involved a 79-year-old man who was being towed behind a boat.
The man was snorkeling Wednesday at Bahia Honda State Park in search of lobster when he had “difficulty in the water and did not survive,’’ said a public information coordinator for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s South Region.
The man was transported to Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon, where he was pronounced dead.
The two-day lobster miniseason ended at midnight Thursday.
Last year, a 60-year-man from Little Torch Key died while diving for lobster on the Gulf side of Cudjoe Key.
Also on Wednesday, a 16-year-old girl was taken to a hospital in the afternoon after one of her fingers was severed while climbing off a boat.
On a similar note, the first arrest of the miniseason in the Florida Keys occurred around 2:30 a.m. when a 78-year-old Marathon man was charged with possession of one undersized lobster and of “over-the-limit” lobsters, with 33.
With more than 10,000 miles of rivers, streams, lakes and ocean coastline, Florida’s abundance of water make it an ideal spot for water and boating activities. While water and boating activities can be fun hobbies, the truth is that they can also be dangerous. On average, there are over 1,000 reported boating accidents every year in Florida with many causing serious injuries and wrongful death.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or FWC has jurisdiction over most of the boating accidents in Florida and are usually the ones who investigate the majority of boating accidents. According to their reports, an increase in the number of boating accidents is usually seen on holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, Columbus Day, New Year’s Eve and during lobster miniseason when more boats are on the water.