Fatality had complained of kit malfunction

DIVING NEWS

Fatality had complained of kit malfunction

Pinellas Reinhard Link
Picture: Reinhard Link.

US detectives are investigating an incident in which a scuba diver died in the Gulf of Mexico on the morning of Saturday, 9 March.

Kimberly Houtz, 54, was wreck-diving with her partner Jay Bryant from the 8m fishing-boat Down Under, about 13 miles west of St Petersburg, Florida. The skipper and two other passengers were aboard the vessel at the time.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reported that it was alerted at about 10.15. The boat had stopped so that the couple could dive a popular wreck at a depth of about 9m, but according to witnesses Houtz had complained of a malfunction with her diving equipment before entering the water.

11 March 2019

She and Bryant were reported to have been submerged for less than five minutes when she rose to the surface of the water in what was described as obvious distress. She was helped into the boat, where she complained of nausea, abdominal pain and breathing difficulties.

The boat started heading back towards the coast, but when Houtz lost consciousness the alarm was raised, and occupants started administering CPR.

A search & rescue boat met the Down Under about a mile offshore, and a paramedic came aboard to treat Houtz using a defibrillator and oxygen. She was taken to hospital, but pronounced dead at 3.15pm.

Detectives said that Houtz’s death appeared to be accidental, but an investigation was launched, with the medical examiner’s office carrying out a post mortem to establish the cause of death.

biggest

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

Turtles of Raja Ampat

Turtles of Raja Ampat

The Raja Ampat Creature Feature Series: Turtles Raja Ampat is the perfect diving location to find four of the seven ocean turtle species of the

manta ray and diver over reef in Komodo

Divers pitch into Komodo manta probe

Manta rays choose to stick around Indonesia’s Komodo National Park in unusually large numbers – and, according to a new diver-led study, this community could

female diver holding pair of Fourth Element Tech fins

Tech fins inspired by humpback whales

Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer. The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades

Last Breath portrait of Woody Harrelson

Woody dives into Last Breath remake

A new version of the British documentary-thriller that captured the imaginations of divers in 2019 is about to be previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Follow Divernet on Social Media