Diver on NOAA vessel dies

KEY WEST, FL (AP) –A man aboard an NOAA vessel died while diving near Key West andauthorities are currently investigating the reasons. The 54-year-old from Ramrod Key wasnot identified pending notification of his family.

According to the MonroeCounty Sheriff’s Office, the diver and his buddy were surveying the seafloor on Monday for an upcoming coral restoration project. They wereheading back to the surface — from 80 to 100 feet under — and reacheda decompression stop, at which point the buddy noticed the man sinking downward.

Authorities say other divers on the National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration vessel went into the water and retrievedthe man. They performed CPR and called the Coast Guard. A helicoptertook the man to Lower Keys Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy has been scheduled.