Terry Tomalin –
Craig Cavanaugh learned years ago that if you fish and dive in the Gulf of Mexico, you should put your name on all equipment. You never know where it might end up.
“I’ve had a boat sink right out from under me,” said the 51-year-old Pinellas County resident.
Cavanaugh was spearfishing with friends in mid January, 30 miles west of St. Pete Beach, when he lowered an expensive fishing buoy over the side of his boat.
The $100 Suremarker, manufactured in Sarasota, marks the exact spot on the ocean floor where fish congregate.
As Cavanaugh maneuvered his 25-foot boat in rough seas, the propeller cut the line to the buoy.
He watched helplessly as the buoy drifted away in the wind. He never expected to see it again.
The continental shelf extends more than 100 miles offshore on the west coast of Florida.
The buoy probably floated around the shelf for weeks, even months, before it got sucked into the Loop Current.