As a maritime injury attorney, I am often approached with the question “what happens if I’m injured by a boat while scuba diving?”
These types of incidents are typically covered by maritime law and require a maritime injury attorney to handle the claim.
Divers are required by state law to use a dive-down flag. Likewise, boaters are also required to stay at least 300 feet away from these flags or put their boats in idle if within the 300 feet.
Assuming the diver has properly identified their location with a dive flag, the negligence for the incident should rest on the driver of the vessel that caused the injury. Boat captains are required under the law to always keep a lookout for anything in the water. This can be found in the Florida Boaters Guide Book that is published every year by the Coast Guard. If the captain has deviated from these rules, they may be held liable for any injuries they cause as a result.
Florida summers are always a little cooler when out on the water. Whether you are driving or boating, being aware of your surroundings and taking the necessary precautions to protect everyone on the water is a must. Choosing a proper spot to dive is just one of those precautions that must be adhered to. Another precaution is for those captaining boats to be on the lookout for dive flags/buoys and swimmers who neglect to use them. While not all accidents can be avoided, most can be if everyone is paying attention and taking proper precautions.