Woman dies in snorkeling incident off Key West

A 63-year-old Port Orange, Florida woman died at Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island Sept.20 after she lost consciousness in the water during a snorkeling trip on Rock Key reef.

Kim Ellen Schwinge was on a trip with Key West-based Sebago Watersports when a family member noticed she was having difficulties breathing in the water. Crew members transferred Schwinge to the commercial catamaran and began CPR en route to U.S. Coast Guard Station Key West at about 10:45 a.m.

Waiting paramedics transported Schwinge to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Autopsy results are pending.

Jet Ski tour guide dies on the water

Eric Stephen Baldwin, 51, was on a Jet Ski on his way to Snapper’s Restaurant on the oceanside in the Upper Keys when he texted his son asking for help. The Jet Ski tour guide was traveling oceanside near MM 95 on Sept. 20. Two Good Samaritans found the victim in the water, started CPR and transported him to shore. Baldwin was transported by Monroe County Fire and Rescue to Mariners Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

2 divers assisted by Coast Guard after mishaps

Coast Guard assisted two divers Sept. 20 after they became unresponsive in the water off the Florida Keys and needed emergency medical services to go to the hospital. 

Sector Key West watchstanders were alerted by the dive boat operator of the Sea Star at about 10:30 a.m. that a 21 year-old diver came to the surface unconscious and not breathing, but became conscious and responsive when brought into the boat. The watchstanders coordinated to have EMS waiting for the Sea Star at John Pennenkamp, Key Largo and the woman was transported to Mariners Hospital. She is reported to be responsive and remaining in the hospital under observation. 

Sector Key West watchstanders received a separate alert from the operator of the Pacific Fury, reporting a 61 year-old snorkeler had become unresponsive and the crew was doing CPR about eight miles east of Tavernier Key. A Station Key West rescue crew arrived on scene and transferred the individual and a family member to awaiting EMS at the Coast Guard pier. She was transported to Lower Keys Hospital and later pronounced dead.

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