ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - Detectives are investigating a diving accident that killed a woman off St. Pete Beach on Saturday.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, 54-year-old Kimberly Houtz was scuba diving about 13 miles offshore on Saturday morning.
Houtz and her boyfriend, 57-year-old Jay Bryant, were aboard a fishing vessel with two other passengers and the boat's captain when they stopped to dive a wreck.
Witnesses said Houtz complained about a malfunction with her diving equipment prior to entering the water, but decided to continue with the dive.
Houtz and Bryant were underwater for less than five minutes when Houtz rose to the surface in "obvious distress," witnesses told investigators.
They helped her back aboard the boat, where she said she was having trouble breathing and complained of nausea and abdominal pain.
The boat was on the way back to shore due to Houtz's medical issue when they said she lost consciousness. Occupants started administering CPR while waiting for rescue.
Paramedics transported Houtz to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg Hospital, where she died hours later.
Detectives said Houtz's death appears to be an accident; the Medical Examiner's Office will investigate to determine the cause of death.