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Captains Outrageous

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Dave Kersey adds: "Mike is what you might call a superenvironmentalist. He's against spearfishing and lobster catching, and that's contrary to what most of the other captains think. They take people out to the reefs explicitly to do that."

Says Halprin: "My wife wants to sell the house, sell the business, and move away from here -- a place where we've both grown up. She doesn't want to live here any more. I'm not sure how I feel right now. I can't feel the left side of my face. When I breathe in, my eyeball wobbles."

Dave Earp, owner of the Sea Kill, was unavailable for comment. Whitneck, his friend, says the Boater's World confrontation is getting blown out of proportion. "Mike came after Dave, and Dave defended himself," he says. "Mike's a hothead, and everybody in town knows it." Pompano Beach police and the state attorney's office will decide whether to press charges pending a photo lineup this week.

One local dive-shop operator says he's fed up with the feud. "These guys are acting like a bunch of whining crybabies. Meanwhile they're giving the local dive business a bad name. It's exactly what we don't need. Divers are hearing about this and asking, 'What the hell is going on in Pompano?'

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Sean Rowe

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