April 4, 2014

Dive death offshore of Islamorada

A New Mexico man died while diving offshore of Islamorada Thursday.

55 year old Stephen Benavidez of Albuquerque, New Mexico was in the Keys visiting with his wife. He was on a three day dive trip on board the vessel “Giant Stride” with Key Dives out of Bud and Mary’s Marina. He started on Wednesday with two dives and completed his third dive of the trip Thursday morning with no trouble. He was on the fourth dive of the trip  when he suddenly surfaced, yelling for help.

The captain threw out a tow line, but Benavidez couldn’t grasp it. Two dive guides from the boat were sent out to get him. By the time they reached him, he was not breathing. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation was performed as they brought Benavidez in to the dock at the marina. The boat was met by paramedics who transported him to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead just after noon.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

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