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Articles Posted in Scuba Diving Accident Injury & Death

Florida-Keys-Dive-Lawsuit.jpgOur firm has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of a Florida Key’s dive boat crewmember who lost his life. On the night of November 15, 2015, the crewmember was serving as a deck hand aboard a dive boat while seventeen SCUBA divers were participating in a wreck dive. Court papers allege that at the end of the dive profile, four of the seventeen divers had not returned to the dive boat. The captain observed two of the divers approximately 300-400 feet away and the other two further down current. The crewmember entered the water to assist the divers back to the dive boat. He reached the first two divers and provided them a fixed line so they could be pulled back to the dive boat. He then continued to swim to the other two divers further down current — now about a half mile from the dive boat. While the crewmember was swimming to the two remaining divers, the Captain retrieved the dive boat’s anchor, stowed the deployed appurtenances. By the time the captain made way and maneuvered the dive boat to the crewmember, he was found floating unresponsive. He later perished leaving behind a wife and two minor children.
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Sandals Resorts Injury Lawyers .jpgThe resort injury attorneys of Brais Law Firm have brought a lawsuit on behalf of a North Carolina man who nearly drowned while snorkeling on a Sandals Grande Antigua Resort excursion. While a guest on Sandals property, the man decided to participate in a snorkeling excursion offered as part of the all inclusive package. Court documents reveal the man alleges Sandals failed to provide proper instruction and rushed people aboard the excursion boat without checking whether the snorkeling equipment handed out was in good working order. While in the water, his mouthpiece failed and his lungs began to fill with liquid. In danger, the guest began to make his way back to the excursion boat. While attempting to swim to the boat he blacked out and began to drown. He was later revived by other guests who happened to be medical doctors.

Florida Dive Drowning Lawyer.gifThe Brais Law [dive accident attorneys]( have been retained to represent the estate and family of drowned recreational diver Leonardo Rosales. On October 20, 2010, Mr. Rosales went diving for lobster off Ft. Lauderdale with a friend Enrique Pitta. The two men utilized a “Third Lung” manufactured by the Florida based Brownie company to serve as their air delivery system. The third lung delivers air from the surface to the divers below thus eliminating the need of SCUBA tanks. This method of diving is often referred to as hookah diving as the air supply hoses coming out from the compressor resembles a hookah. On behalf of Mr. Rosales’ wife and two children, Brais Law filed a complaint in Broward County, Florida seeking compensation for the tragic drowning. The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that Mr. Pitta breached the duty he owed to Mr. Rosales (his “dive buddy”) by failing to maintain visual contact and aid in a rescue effort once Mr. Rosales started to drown. The parties reached and out of court confidential settlement.

WGMD.COM reports 39-year old Jared Adkins and his son Calvin were scuba diving near Conch Reef, just south of Key Largo on August 16th, when they were run over by the 46′ charter boat Big Dipper. Both father and son were airlifted to Miami area hospitals.

Scuba divers being run over by boats are quite common in South Florida especially during lobster season. If you were injured a boat and have questions about your legal rights, don’t hesitate to contact our Florida boat injury attorneys.

A complaint filed in Kansas Federal Court on March 29th alleges a Sandals boat ran over its own guest while snorkeling. Janet Jilka was a guest at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa in July 2009. The complaint reveals that while snorkeling from the private resort’s beach, a boat owned and controlled by Sandals ran over Ms. Jilka and struck her with the propeller. Per the complaint, this incident caused Ms. Jilka to be permanently disfigured.

This but one of multiple incident within recent years concerning the negligent operation of a Sandals’ boat and snorkelers or scuba divers staying at its resorts. In August 2007, Sandal’s abandoned a British couple vacationing at the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa in the water for 5 hours during a scuba diving trip. In that incident, the Sandals dive boat took the remaining guests to other scuba diving areas and even made it all the way back to the dock before the Sandals employee learned he left 2 guests in the water.

The frequency of these incidents make one wonder what, if any, screening Sandals’ performs on their boat operators before putting guests lives in their hands?

The Miami Herald reports a Michigan man died while diving the “Edge of Night” off the Florida Keys.

Richard Snow, 56, participated in on a dive excursion aboard the Reef Hopper on March 10, 2011. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reports the Reef Hopper’s captain threw out a safety line when Snow began have trouble. Snow was unable to grab the line, however, it caught on his tank and he was brought to the dive boat. Snow was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Orlando Sentinel reports a Highland Beach boater has been charged with negligence and careless operation after his motorboat struck and injured a scuba diver near the Boca Inlet on January 22, 2011.

Jon Berger, 64, was operating a twenty-eight foot Sea Fox powerboat when the accident happened. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the propeller of the boat cut scuba diver James Shelley, 46, as he surfaced from a dive. Shelley was taken in critical condition to Delray Medical Center and was released days later.

Berger was also cited for failing to stay at least 300 feet away from a diver down flag and faces up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines if convicted of culpable negligence. reports the Coast Guard is investigating the October 23, 2010 death of Tallahassee scuba diver Paula Grimes. According to the Coast Guard, Grimes was scuba diving in the Sherman Tug area with Daly’s Dock and Dives out of Port St. Joe. She was a part of a 15 person dive chartered tour. A member of the dive party reported Grimes was found unresponsive, inverted and had dropped her gear. Coast Guard officials say Grimes was taken to the pier in Mexico Beach where EMS officials tried to resuscitate her, but she passed away. The Sherman Tug area lies approximately 15 miles from shore.

The Florida Keynoter reports Scott Filippini, 46, of Chicago died on October 18, 2010 while diving off Looe Key in the Lower Florida Keys. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office states Filippini was participating in a dive operated by Looe Key Dive Center. The dive was in about 27 feet of water when Filippini surfaced and appeared to be in distress. He was brought aboard the dive boat not breathing and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed. Filippini was brought to Dolphin Marina on Little Torch Key where paramedics took over treatment. He was then transported to Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon and later pronounced dead.