FL: 2 Tampa area divers die while hunting lobsters in Keys
2 Tampa area divers die while hunting lobsters in Keys
August 6, 2009
Authorities say two Tampa Bay area men died in separate diving accidents
in the Florida Keys while hunting for lobster Thursday.
Monroe County sheriff's deputies said that Brian Harlin, 25, of Brandon
was diving in the Indian Key Channel with his family about 8 a.m. Thursday.
He was in the water with his father, and they were using a third-lung
device, also known as a hookah rig, when an air hose dislodged during the
Both men made it to the surface, but as the boat approached to pick them
up, Harlin began to struggle in a strong current and slipped underwater.
When he was pulled aboard the vessel, relatives tried to revive him, but
Harlin was brought ashore at a boat ramp, where paramedics were waiting.
They took him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, deputies
About 60 miles south of Islamorada on Summerland Key, 32-year-old
Courtney Spikes of Trinity dove for lobster in a canal around noon Thursday.
He was in the water about five minutes when he surfaced and yelled that
he was drowning.
His wife was watching from shore and jumped in to help him, deputies
said, but he had slipped below the surface, and she had trouble finding him
because the water was murky. Two nearby divers nearby searched for Spikes
and after 11 minutes found him and pulled him to shore, deputies said.
Spikes was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin said this morning that foul play was
not suspected and the men are scheduled for autopsies in Monroe County.
Lobster season began Thursday, she said, and tourists flock to the Keys
at the beginning of the season. About 10 to 15 lobster divers drown each
season, which lasts until March, Herrin said.
Return to Hunting Accident Index
Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material
whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe
that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes
a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section
107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted
material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must
obtain permission from the copyright owner.