77ºF

Tourist dies while diving in Dry Tortugas National Park, police say

Man from Louisiana dies off Florida Keys

photo
(USGS- SPACE IMAGING)

KEY WEST, Fla. – Police said Sunday that they were investigating the death of a 67-year-old man from Louisiana off the Florida Keys.

Witnesses told police Paul Wimberly, of Natchitoches, was snorkeling underwater in the area of the Dry Tortugas National Park.

A woman who was with him said he grabbed her and pulled her to the bottom with him. She was allegedly able to shed her dive equipment and swim to the surface to yell for help.

"Wimberly’s dive partner said it appeared Wimberly panicked," Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.

Staff at the Sea-Clusive Charters' Playmate, a commercial vessel, told police they moved to rescue the woman who was screaming and dived in to get Wimberly. 

"There was a physician and a physician's assistant on board the vessel," Herrin said. "They performed CPR on Wimberly, but were unable to revive him."

Deputies met witnesses after the vessel returned to the Key West Harbor Yacht Club late Saturday and were waiting for the results of an autopsy. 

 


About the Author: