A man is in critical condition in Mount Sinai Medical Center after jumping into a storm drain in Miami Beach while trying to help a woman find her keys, authorities said.
Richard Brandenburg, 49, jumped into the drain to find the keys, and at some point stopped breathing. He had no pulse, but paramedics were able to resuscitate him. The woman was waiting for a locksmith, when Brandenburg told her that he had previously worked on sewage systems and would be willing to go into the sewer to help her, according to a Miami Beach Police incident report.
Witnesses told police he drank half a pint of white rum and smoked a few cigarettes before removing a rectangular grate and jumping into the sewer. He told witnesses he wanted to warm up because the water was cold. Brandenburg came up a couple of times to smoke a couple more cigarettes. The third time he went into the water, he did not come back up. Witnesses told police they saw bubbles coming up and tried to rescue him unsuccessfully.
When fire rescue arrived, they found the man under a circular manhole cover a few feet away from the rectangular grate. "He drowned," said Capt. Adonis Garcia, a fire rescue spokesman. Police initially reported that he had died. "They brought him back and now he's in critical condition," Garcia said. Police didn't immediately know how deep the water was in the drain.
With news video.