INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A diver who drifted from a boat on day one of lobster mini-season was found unharmed in a search by fire rescue, wildlife officials and law enforcement.
After a roughly hour-long dive, the woman emerged about quarter to half-a-mile from her boat, said Indian River County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Jamie Coleman.
She was seen by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers on a boat and picked up out of the water.
“She was fine …. she was still diving,” Coleman said. “She had not run out of air yet.”
He said the diver didn’t have a dive flag showing her location and urged other divers during the remainder of the two-day season to use one just for that purpose.
Mini-season, also known as sport season, is July 29-30. The regular lobster season is Aug. 6 to March 31.
Others on the center console boat she’d set out with Wednesday called 911.
He said their boat was about 300 yards offshore near a reef between Wabasso Beach and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort where emergency personnel were gathered.
Colemean described the water conditions at the time as not “flat calm and crystal clear,” but also not too rough.
An Indian River County Sheriff’s Office helicopter was sent out along with the FWC boat and a fire rescue boat with two divers was on the way from a station just south of the Merrill P. Barber Bridge.
He said the search was called off after roughly 20 minutes when she was found, which was around 4 p.m.
“All we can say is they did not have a dive flag with them while she was diving,” Coleman said. “It’s always recommended for this type of incident…”
Coleman said he saw the woman in the water with binoculars from the beach and said there were “probably hundreds of boats” out around that time.
Corey Arwood is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Corey on Twitter @coreyarwood, or reach him by phone at 772-978-2246.