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MIAMI, Florida -- Earlier today, representatives from the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) and the Divers Alert Network (DAN), joined officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for a press conference at the USCG Miami Sector to unveil the first state-wide public service campaign aimed at increasing awareness in scuba diving safety to reduce or eliminate the number of incidents of bodily harm during the spiny lobster mini-season.
In advance of this year's mini-season, the campaign encourages scuba divers to check their equipment at a local retailer, participate in refresher courses and be mindful of safety procedures. A :30 Public Service Announcement (PSA) that will be available to Florida TV networks and a 18"x 24" poster were unveiled.
Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA, said, "By creating this campaign with our partners DAN and the FWC and with the assistance of the USCG, we hope to get the PSA on as many TV stations in Florida as possible and the poster into 389 dive stores and related businesses in Florida and the adjoining coastal counties in Alabama and Georgia with the goal of reminding divers that it's not too late to tune up their equipment and refresh their skills before lobster mini-season. By doing so, we hope to help keep diving safe for everyone this year."
Dan Orr, President and CEO of Divers Alert Network, said, "We at DAN are very proud to partner in the effort to reduce injuries and fatalities during lobster mini-season. This goes along with DAN's vision that every dive be accident and injury free. We are pleased to participate in anything we can to contribute to this effort."
Speaking at the press conference were Tom Ingram, Dan Orr, and Lt. John Corbett of the USCG as well as Lt. David Bingham of the FWC. FWC Officer Jorge Pinto was also present. Governor Charlie Crist's proclamation of dive flag awareness week and diver/boater safety tips were also discussed.