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New Mexico man dies while diving off Florida Keys; autopsy will determine cause of death

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ISLAMORADA, Florida — Authorities say a New Mexico man has died while diving off the Florida Keys.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office reports that 55-year-old Stephen Benavidez, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and his wife were participating in a three-day dive trip this week off Islamorada. After two dives Wednesday and another Thursday morning, officials say Benavidez was doing a fourth dive Thursday afternoon when he suddenly surfaced, yelling for help.

Authorities say two dive guides from the boat went to retrieve him, but he wasn't breathing. They started CPR on the boat and turned him over to paramedics at the marina. Benavidez was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

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