First Diver Awareness Day - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

First Diver Awareness Day

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By Allison Bybee e-mail

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - Saturday, it was a first for South Florida: Diver Awareness Day. Hundreds of strangers spanned the state to educate boaters: steer clear of divers.

They came out in full force. Strangers like Carolyn Geiss, united by diving, "A boat, a jet ski, any kind of water craft scares me." She's promoting safety. Just three weeks ago, fellow diver, Rob Murphy, was run over by a boat in Stuart, destroying his legs.

Now, divers want to make sure everyone knows the rules. If you see a dive flag, stay 300 feet from divers. Volunteer, Jessie Stevens, says, "It's an issue of safety to keep divers safe and keep accidents from happening."

All day divers stood at boat ramps from the Keys to Destin. Educating boaters like Erin Fowler and Anthony Crease. Crease says, "It seems like most people know what the ball is, but they don't stay that far away from it." They believe this is a good reminder and are glad they know what to do, "I think when you are born and raised in an atmosphere and being aware of the people around you it comes more naturally," says Fowler.

As for Carolyn she came all the way from Georgia to support Rob on this the first Diver Awareness Day, "If you see that flag any where there's water, be aware there's a human being there. We're not just a diver. We are a human being and we need to be protected."

Divers hope Saturday's efforts made a difference and boaters remember to watch for the flags. Divers say they too know they need to be safe when in the water. Divers are reminded to stay alert and make sure their proper dive flags are displayed at all times. 

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