Alaska tourist dies after diving trip to Islamorada in Florida Keys



The track reef in Key Largo waters is a popular dive site on excursions from Islamorada Dive Center.

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An Alaskan tourist has died after a diving accident off Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Kimberly Jean Kilgore, 57, was in the Juneau Keys, and with a group of divers with Islamorada Dive Center Friday morning.

Kilgore was diving in around 45ft of water at Runway reef – so named because the large sand channel looks like an airport runway from above, according to the dive center’s website.

MPs say Kilgore ‘would have had a problem in the water and lost consciousness on the surface’.

Crew aboard the commercial dive boat performed CPR, as did paramedics, as Kilgore was taken to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier. But she died in hospital around 10:45 a.m. Friday, Monroe County officials said.

Monroe deputies do not suspect foul play. Autopsy reports are pending.

Recent Diving Fatalities in the Keys

In October 2021, Rainer G. Blomberg, a 73-year-old Palm Harbor man, died while diving in about 15 feet of ocean-side water off Bahia Honda Key, according to the county sheriff’s office. of Monroe. The Key is home to the 524-acre Bahia Honda State Park.

In July 2021, 67-year-old Roy Jasper of Lake Charles, Florida died after diving into the wreckage of the Spiegel Grove off Key Largo on a private boat dive excursion.

And last June Barry Beckett, 50, of Tamarac, died after diving into the wreckage of Vandenberg off Key West, Monroe officers reported. Beckett was diving with Southpoint Divers aboard the Phoenix dive boat.

USS Vandenberg.JPG
This photo from October 2009 shows algae growing on the USS Vandenberg, which was sunk as an artificial reef in May 2009. Cammy Clark Miami Herald File

This story was originally published January 15, 2022 11:29 a.m.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, winner of the 2017 Media Excellence Awards, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, city government, and general missions. He began his career in the Features department of the Miami Herald in 1991.
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