An 8-year-old boy from South Carolina was snorkeling in the Florida Keys on Monday afternoon when his father found him face down in the water, police said.
The child was airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital near South Miami after Deputy Jamie Hughes-Buxton waded into the water to carry him ashore.
The boy's mouth was covered in blood. A boater who brought the child near shore said the boy had been coughing up blood during the ride.
The boy's father said they were snorkeling just south of Boot Key off of Marathon and the boy was snorkeling in a full face mask when he began to float away, according to Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
"The father went to him and found the child face down," Linhardt said. "The father patted him on the back. The child gasped several times for air."
He was taken to the sheriff’s office hangar in Marathon where an on-duty Trauma Star helicopter flew him to Miami.
The boy is expected to be released Tuesday from the hospital, Linhardt said.