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Woman dies after struggling off of Clearwater Beach


Published:   |   Updated: August 6, 2013 at 02:02 PM

A Clearwater woman died on her 62nd birthday Monday night after she and her husband went for an evening swim off of Clearwater Beach, but then found themselves struggling in the water.

After a few minutes, the husband found them in deeper water amid a stronger current, Clearwater police said. He told his wife, Kristine B. Heller, who was the better swimmer, he was returning to shore in the area of the Palm Pavilion.

The husband made it back safely, but his wife did not, police said.

A Clearwater Fire & Rescue boat, which had been doing dive training in the area, found her body about 100 yards off shore few minutes later. The rescue call was made about 7:20 p.m.

Rescue workers began performing CPR on her as the boat returned to shore, police said. She was taken to Morton Plant Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about an hour later.

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