Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Miami teen dies spearfishing

A 19-year-old from Miami died just before noon on Sunday while free diving and spear fishing in waters off Layton in the Upper Keys.

Erick Diaz reportedly died near the lighthouse at Tennessee Reef while using a mask and snorkel to spear fish from a private vessel with his cousin and some friends, according to reports from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

His cousin told detectives that Diaz had a line attached to his spear and also tied around his waist, reports say.

While trying to shoot a fish, he reportedly shot the spear into some rocks and it got stuck.

The cousin said he tried to pull the spear from the rocks, but couldn't get it loose, so he swam to the surface in an attempt to get help. He was unable to help Diaz, however, who died underwater, reports state.

The group was aboard an 18-foot Boston Whaler that belongs to Diaz's father.

The friends and cousin called the authorities when Diaz did not surface.

Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded, along with members of the Sheriff's Office dive team. The body was recovered and turned over to the Medical Examiner's Office, said Deputy Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.

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