A scuba diver in Hawaii nearly was run over by a boat on Thursday morning while spearfishing. Luckily, he escaped with his life and wasn’t harmed in the incident, although he was mere inches away from injury or perhaps death.
The diver from Oahu, 30-year-old Christopher Lastra, admits that it was his fault and he should’ve been more careful.
He was spearfishing off Magic Island on Thursday morning when his personal body camera video shows him jumping out of the way of a speeding boat which nearly collided with the man.
“It could have been worse, “said Lastra.
Footage of the incident can be seen below. Lastra also speaks with a local news outlet, talking about how he’s “grateful” the event didn’t turn out differently.
“I’m grateful to be alive, I think God was definitely watching over me”
However, while he managed to escape unscathed, his fin did get sliced up by the boat’s propeller. That serves as a reminder of how close he was to being seriously injured.
“So, in that split second, I was just thinking bad decision,” said Lastra. “But last week, I lost my buoy in the current so decided I would go without a buoy.”
He obviously regrets this decision in hindsight.
Coast Guard Official Says Scuba Diver ‘Very Lucky to Be Alive’
“And thinking it’d be OK, but obviously, was not.”
U.S. Coast Guard Diving Supervisor of the Honolulu Sector, Kendall Smith, said dive flags or buoys could prevent close calls like these. Smith also reassured that these buoys can even save lives.
But when it comes to safety on the ocean, he said both boaters and divers must have knowledge of rules.
“Like in this instance, he’s very lucky to be alive,” said Smith.
Smith also noted that property safety practices warn against diving alone.
“Secondly, I noticed in that video he was by himself. You should always dive with a buddy, have a plan and hope for the best but always be prepared for a scary instance like that.”
Smith also said under state laws, dive flags must be displayed while snorkeling, spearfishing, or diving.
“If someone was diving, or had a diver down flag, it’s a no wake zone for 200 yards outside of that diver down flag or buoy,” said Smith.
Lastra is an experienced scuba diver and has been diving for ten years. He’s originally from California, where he said there is no law that requires the use of a dive buoy. However, after Thursday’s event, he claims he’s learned his lesson.
“Your life flashes before your eyes you when you face death, but for me, I was just thinking I’m an idiot,” said Lastra. “I should have had a buoy out here. I knew the law and I just decided not to bring it.”