MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Two men died, a third was severely injured on the first day of the state's lobster mini-season.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said just after 7 a.m. a man getting ready to dive for lobsters began to struggle and then lost consciousness in the water at Sawyer Key.
A nearby good Samaritan helped with CPR. The man was brought to Sugarloaf Key and then taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
About an hour and a half later a man was injured when his leg was struck by a boat propeller off the Lower Keys
The sheriff's office said he was taken to Cudjoe Key and then to Sugarloaf Key where Trauma Star airlifted him to a Miami hospital.
In Pompano Beach, a 39-year-old man diving for lobster surfaced in distress in the Hillsboro Inlet. He was taken to Broward Health North where he died.
The lobster mini-season kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning and runs through 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, people are allowed to catch up to 12 lobsters per day, per person. In the Keys and Biscayne National Park, it is 6 per day, per person.
Keep in mind harvesting is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Everglades National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary.
- If the carapace or shell of the lobster is not 3 inches or more you can't harvest them.
- Divers must possess a measuring device, and lobsters must be in the water while they are measured.
- Taking egg-bearing females is prohibited.
- The spiny lobsters must remain in whole condition until they are brought to shore. Any device that might puncture, penetrate or crush the shell of the lobster may not be used.
- Night diving is not allowed in Monroe County
- You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit.
- Safety equipment such as flares, life jackets, and fire extinguishers are required to be onboard the vessel.
- Dive flags must be utilized a with measurement of 20 x 24 inches mounted on the highest point of boat, and 12 x 12 inches if the flag is in the water.
Click Here for more lobster mini-season rules and regulations from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The FWC urges boaters to keep an eye out for the red diver down flags.
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