October 18, 2013

Sheriff’s dive team searches for missing diver on Spiegel Grove wreck

The Sheriff’s Office dive team is on the site of the Spiegel Grove wreck offshore of Key Largo this morning looking for a missing diver. The diver, 43 year old Joseph Dragojevich of Orlando, went missing during a dive he made Thursday inside the wreck with a friend.

The two men were on a commercial dive vessel operated by Scuba Do Dive Company with six other divers Thursday afternoon. Although the dive operators and other divers reportedly did not intend to penetrate the wreck itself, Dragojevich and his buddy, 51 year old James Dorminy of Kissimmee did intend to do a penetration dive on the wreck on their own, without a guide.

Dorminy told Deputy Tony Code and Dive Team Leader Sgt. Mark Coleman they attached a reel line when they entered so they would be able to find their way out. They explored several levels of the ship before beginning their exit, following the line. Dorminy said he was in the lead and Dragojevich was reeling in the line behind him. He said when he last saw his friend, Dragojevich signaled with his dive light that he was alright. Dorminy looked back again and had lost sight of him and the line was slack.

He swam back and found the line tangled, but did not find Dragojevich. After searching for as long as he could, he had to surface because he was running out of air. As soon as Dorminy reported what happened at about 4:15 p.m., the crew on the dive vessel called the Coast Guard to report they had a missing diver. The Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded and did a search for Dragojevich, but he was not found.


Sheriff’s divers are working today with divers from the Key Largo Fire Department, renewing their search around and inside the wreck of the Spiegel Grove.

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