Published On: Tue, Jul 7th, 2015

Jarrod Ditmars still on life support after spearfishing accident

A Florida man remains on life support after he was shot in the head with a spear gun, but his family says it doesn’t look like he’s going to survive. The spear remains lodged in Ditmars’ head as doctors must wait for his condition to stabilize before they can attempt to remove it.

Jarrod Ditmars, 21, was shot fishing with 24-year-old Dale Bartush when the younger man accidentally bumped into the older one, causing his spear gun to fire straight into Ditmars’ head.

“It’s literally in his head right now,” Ditmars’ sister Erin told WINK News. “It went underneath his ear on one side and it’s sticking out under the other ear on the other side and it went through his brain stem.”

She is hopeful for a miracle and that her brother will survive. His parents sound pessimistic, but hope this can be a lesson for others.

Jarrod Ditmars, the Florida man on life support after being hit in the head during a spear gun accident

Jarrod Ditmars, the Florida man on life support after being hit in the head during a spear gun accident

His mother, Maribeth Ditmars said, “The prognosis is extremely grim.” Ditmars’ parents say multiple doctors have tried to help him, but there’s not much they can do. “The doctors have told us that he won’t wake up,” said Maribeth.

Rob Ditmars said that the water conditions were too murky and therefore, dangerous.

“It just wasn’t a good day to dive, I didn’t know he was going to dive there, or I would’ve said something to him.” The parents say their son’s tragedy highlights the danger of this sport, and they hope people learn from this. Maribeth Ditmars said, “If what happened to our son can change safety laws or gun manufacturing requirements in some way to help someone else then that’s our goal here.”

Police have no plans to file charges in the case.

Dive experts reviewed the safety tips during the several interviews with press: always keep the safety on until ready to shoot, use a dive flag to alert others where you are, point the gun down and keep a safe distance from other divers.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says there are no other requirements than the fishing license. The Ditmars say their son’s accident is proof change is needed.

“There are a lot of dangers involved … something needs to change to make it more safe,” says Maribeth. She adds, “If what happen to our son changes the safety laws to help someone else … that’s our goal today.”

A gofundme page has been set up to help with hospital and pending funeral costs.

Sarasota police officers have ruled the shooting an accident. Rob says he spoke  Bartush.

“I told him I forgave him. I am not upset with him. He is very distraught,” says Rob. He hopes to one day meet Dale. “I am not upset with him, he made a big mistake diving where he shouldn’t of been diving. The water was murky.”


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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