Key Largo

Michigan woman dies during Keys diving excursion

A Michigan woman died Tuesday while diving off Key Largo, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Donna Hartson, 64, of Sterling Heights was aboard the commercial dive vessel Silent World 4 with her husband, Leroy, and six other divers, Deputy Becky Herrin said. They were diving to the Benwood, a wreck off Key Largo, between 2 and 3 p.m.

According to the vessel’s captain, the divers were in the water for about 40 minutes. They were getting ready to go to another location when Hartson surfaced and the captain saw her signaling for help.

When the vessel reached her, she didn’t respond. People aboard pulled her onto the boat, began CPR and called the U.S. Coast Guard to report the trouble.

When the Silent World 4 reached the Port Largo subdivision, it was met by deputies and paramedics. Hartson was taken to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was planned.

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