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“Think before you dive”: HCA Fort Walton-Destin Hospital raises awareness of shallow diving dangers with new signage

HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital has launched a new beach safety and injury prevention campaign in collaboration with their trauma department to raise awareness about the dangers of shallow diving in the Destin-Fort Walton Beach area.

HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital has launched a new beach safety and injury prevention campaign in collaboration with their trauma department to raise awareness about the dangers of shallow diving in the Destin-Fort Walton Beach area.

  • As part of the initiative, new “Think before you dive” signs have been added to existing waterway signage around the area earlier this month. 

The hospital is also working with local hotels, including the Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach and Hilton Garden Inn Fort Walton Beach, to place magnet versions of these signs in rooms to further promote safety and awareness.

Dr. Matthew Johnson, medical director of the trauma center at HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital, stated that one of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries they treat is from individuals diving off boats into the shallow waters around Crab Island in Destin.

  • “The water is so shallow at Crab Island but we see cases where people will dive-in head first. We end up with a lot of quadriplegic patients,” Dr. Johnson said. “I implore people to think before they dive. The consequences are life changing.”

The hospital’s efforts aim to educate visitors and residents about the potential risks associated with diving into shallow waters and encourage them to prioritize their safety while enjoying the area’s beautiful beaches and waterways.

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