May 31, 2012

Agencies still searching for missing diver

The Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, Key Largo Fire Rescue and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have officers on the water searching for a missing diver. The man, a 62 year old from Illinois, was on a dive trip out of Florida Keys Dive Center this morning when he failed to return to the dive boat. The Sheriff’s Office was notified of his missing status at 10:30 a.m. A search by air and on the water has failed, so far, to find him. The search is continuing.

The man was visiting the keys with a group of people who planned to dive for three days offshore of the upper Keys. They all traveled to Davis Ledge, about three miles offshore of Islamorada, this morning. They paired off for the first dive of the day. The man’s partner said they went in the water and the missing man said he was having trouble descending. The partner suggested the man return the boat and get some assistance. He watched the man swim toward the boat on the surface, then descended himself to join the rest of the divers.

After the dive, when he returned to the boat, he realized his partner was missing and had not made it back to the boat. After a short search, the captain called a mayday over VHF radio. Two Sheriff’s Office marine units were close by and responded, as did FWC and the Coast Guard. Detectives are working right now to notify his next of kin about the incident.

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