MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a Minnesota man, who drowned in a snorkeling accident off the coast of Puerto Rico, is now looking for answers.
“They were having absolutely the time of their lives,” said the victim’s mother, Cindy Ranem.
Matt Elmore, 30, was with his wife and a couple of friends when he died.
For the young couple who didn’t have a honeymoon, the trip was a dream come true. Ranem said Elmore and his bride, Breanna, posted pictures of all the things they did in Puerto Rico.
Ranem says her son hired a guide who at first showed them incredible sights.
“He was a local. He should have known what he was doing,” Ranem said.
Ranem says her son did not didn’t think twice when the guide told them it was OK to go snorkeling, when they were concerned about how rough the water was. She said they went into the water and the weather changed, the two couples along with their guide were in trouble.
“The other gal had taken on a lot of water. The other gentleman was unconscious when they brought him in. They were doing CPR on him and they went back out looking for my son,” Ranem said.
Minutes later, they found Elmore, who was face down in the water. They managed to get him to the hospital, but he died a short time later.
Elmore died trying to save the couple, Ranem said.
“There are three little boys that will never know how much their daddy loves them and there is a young widow who has to go through this all by herself,” Ranem said.
Elmore dedicated the last seven years of his life to help others. His mother said he had an issue with drugs, but he kicked it and helped countless others to stay clean and lead productive lives.
Now, his mother needs the people he helped to keep his memory alive by never giving up.
“He would want everyone who is in the program to keep on carrying the message for people that are still suffering from the disease,” Ranem said.
Elmore died the day before his 31st birthday. He leaves behind his wife Breanna, his three sons: Caleb, Anthony and Jackson.
A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank to help the family. There is also a benefit planned for Jan. 25.