Fortified With Rum, Man Jumps Into Storm Sewer And Nearly Drowns

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (May 1, 2013)--A South Florida man nearly drowned after he jumped into a storm drain in search of a woman's dropped keys, fortified with a stiff drink of rum to keep warm.

Miami Beach police said Richard Brandenberg, 49, told the woman Tuesday that he had experience working in sewer systems and was willing to go in and look for her keys.

Brandenberg then drank a half-pint of rum and smoked a cigarette, telling bystanders it was to keep warm in the cold water, witnesses told police.

Police say Brandenberg went down twice, emerging each time to have another smoke.

The third time, however, he didn’t resurface and one witness called 911.

Authorities found Brandenberg by popping a nearby manhole cover.

They performed CPR to revive him.

Brandenberg was recovering Wednesday at a local hospital.

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