A daring and drunken attempt to find a set of missing keys nearly turned tragic on Tuesday. A woman in Miami was waiting on a locksmith after she'd accidentally dropped her keys into a sewer drain when our hero, Richard Brandenburg, 49, walked by and said he could help. Brandenburg told the woman he used to work in the sewers and therefore knew how they worked and where the lost keys might have gone.
It's unclear if the woman agreed to Brandenburg's help or not; either way, he quickly jumped into the drain, though not before thoroughly preparing himself first. And by thoroughly preparing himself, I mean he got drunk, chugging a half pint of rum and smoking several cigarettes. Brandenburg told curious on-lookers he drank the rum because he expected the water to be cold.
He removed the drain's rectangular grate and into the water he went, resurfacing twice to smoke more cigarettes. He dove in a third time, but this time failed to resurface. Witnesses said they saw bubbles rising from the water.
By the time the fire and rescue squad arrived, the unconscious Brandenburg had drifted several feet through the sewer and was discovered underneath a manhole down the street.
"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.
Brandenburg (pictured below) was transported to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he's in critical condition.
No word on what happened to the woman's keys.
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