One of the main factors that caused Carter’s incident was the simple but crucial concept of the boater not being aware of their surroundings. They were speeding towards a popular nearshore dive spot on a day where the diving conditions were perfect. In fact, the boat was going approximately 45 mph at the point where it struck Carter and was only about 700 feet off of the beach. If the boat was moving slower in the area, they could have maneuvered the boat away from Carter in time to prevent the tragedy.
As someone who loves to snorkel off the beach, Carter took all the required safety protocols seriously. He was always towing the standard 12 inch by 12 inch divers down flag behind him. However, this two dimensional flag was not seen by the boat until it was too late.
In order to prevent a divers down device from going unnoticed by a boat, we promote the use of a three dimensional buoy. This buoy can be seen from any angle and in any conditions by a boat. If more of these buoys would be used by snorkelers, we believe there would be far less incidents with boats.
Another safety protocol Carter followed that saved his life that day was having a dive buddy with him. Andy was the first to reach him after the strike and prevented Carter from drowning. We aim to emphasize the importance of having a dive buddy in all of our programs.
Most importantly, the boating community and the diving community are made of the same people who are passionate for the water. If we work together and apply safer practices, we can get the highest level of enjoyment and appreciation for the ocean.
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