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February 13, 2013

Michigan woman dies diving in the Florida Keys

A Michigan woman died Tuesday afternoon while diving offshore of Key Largo, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said.

A Michigan woman died Tuesday afternoon while diving offshore of 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 others diving on the Benwood, a wreck off Key Largo, said Deputy Becky Herrin.

According to the vessel’s captain, the divers were in the water for about 40 minutes and were getting ready to leave the area when Hartson surfaced. The captain saw her signaling for help. When the vessel reached her, she didn't respond.

They pulled her onto the boat, began CPR and called the U.S. Coast Guard.

They were met on land by deputies and paramedics. Hartson was transported to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.

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