Tony Nicolais, a 38-year-old deejay from the U.S. city of Orland Park, Illinois, died Monday while snorkeling in choppy water on the beach near Hotel Rocking J’s, where he had been staying, in Puerto Viejo.
“It wasn’t (good) snorkeling conditions,” said Joseph John Korchmoros, owner of the Hotel. “There were waves, there was a current. You would never go snorkeling in that condition. The visibility was maybe one or two feet.”
A neighbor alerted the hotel staff that something was wrong with a man in the water.
“Someone said there was a man floating strangely,” Korchmoros said. “Me and another guy ran out and tried to resuscitate him.”
The Red Cross of Talamanca and medics arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and also tried CPR to no avail.
“When the Red Cross reached him, there was nothing they could do,” said Melvin Marin of the Puerto Viejo police. “The guy was dead.”
Nicolais was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:32 p.m.