Brian Hamacher

Key Largo Dive Boat Mate Dies While Helping Drifting Divers

A Key Largo man who worked on a dive boat died as he tried to save a group of divers who began drifting away from the vessel Thursday, authorities said.

Steven Kipp, 59, worked on the vessel out of the Amoray Dive Resort, Monroe County Sheriff's Office officials said.

The dive vessel was offshore around 6:45 p.m. when the current became too strong for the group of divers who had been in the water for 10 to 15 minutes, officials said.

The captain called the divers back to the vessel but four of them began drifting away from the boat, so Kipp put on a mask, snorkel and fins and got in the water to bring them a line to get them back to the boat, officials said.

Kipp brought the line to the first two divers but as he swam to the second two, he became unresponsive, officials said. He was brought onto the boat where CPR was performed.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded and brought him to shore and he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

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