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Diver whose arm was severed in Florida boat accident is recovering

Andrew Boryga, Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- After losing his arm in a boating accident in Palm Beach on Thanksgiving, Carter J. Viss has been recovering in a West Palm Beach hospital surrounded by family, friends and co-workers according to his mother.

Viss, 25, was diving with a friend Thursday morning near the Breakers Hotel, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He put up a dive flag but was still struck by a boat as it attempted to throttle down. The boat was driven by Daniel W. Stanton, 30, according to the FWC. Stanton could not be reached for comment Monday.

Viss was pulled from the water and taken to St. Mary's Hospital, where he has remained since. He lost an arm, broke both of his legs and broke his other wrist in the accident, according to family members.

The severed arm was recovered floating in the water off Palm Beach Island by a good Samaritan, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. It is unclear if the arm will be able to be reattached.

Viss' mother, Leila Viss, has been updating family and friends about Viss' recovery on CaringBridge, a blogging platform that allows family members to post updates on behalf of loved ones in the hospital.

According to a post from Leila Viss on Monday, her son is in stable condition and was planning to undergo surgery Monday evening to repair his left wrist.


In previous posts she indicated that her son's legs were severely swollen and had limited to no mobility. On Nov. 30 she reported that Viss could move his toes and that an ultrasound found a pulse in both feet. "It is crucial that this continues so that his legs can be saved," his mother wrote.

On Monday, Viss' mother indicated that he has been breathing through a tube since being admitted to the hospital and is hoping to breathe on his own soon.

She also said Viss communicated with head nods that he wanted to see his friend, Andy Earl, who was diving with Viss on Thursday and is believed to have helped him make it to shore after the accident took place.

"Andy is one of Carter's closest friends who is responsible for Carter being here today," Viss' mother wrote in the blog post.


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