March 24, 2015

Snorkeling deaths in the Keys

Sheriff’s detectives responded to and are investigating the deaths of three people who died while snorkeling today.

Deputies and detectives responded to Lower Keys Medical Center where a man was brought in by ambulance, not breathing with CPR in progress.

72 year old Richard Gueringer of San Antonio, Texas was transported to the hospital after a snorkel trip on board the boat “Key West Fury”. Gueringer was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

According to witnesses, he left the boat with his domestic partner, both reportedly experienced scuba divers. His partner said they left the boat together, but he entered the water more quickly.  He reportedly became unconscious and had to be pulled onto the boat where CPR was performed until he could be brought to shore for medical attention.  He was pronounced dead and an autopsy will be performed.

A 72 year old man from Schauwburg, Illinois was snorkeling in the Dry Tortugas when he reportedly became unconscious and later died.

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

An Illinois woman was snorkeling offshore of Key Largo on Molasses Reef.


64 year old Julia Thien was visiting with her husband and other family members. They were on board the vessel Keys Diver II. When she went into the water she reportedly began having trouble. She became unresponsive. They got her back on board the boat and began CPR. She was brought to shore where paramedics took over care. She was pronounced dead at Mariner’s Hospital. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of her death.

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