January 5, 2015

Diver still missing after Vandenberg dive

An Illinois man is still missing after he went diving on the Vandenberg wreck offshore of Key West on Saturday.

53 year old James Bakazan of Woodstock, Illinois went missing shortly after 10 a.m. The U.S. Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office have all searched for him using boats, aircraft and the Sheriff’s Office dive team. He has not yet been located.

Bakazan was visiting Key West on vacation. He was on board the vessel Dream operated by Lost Reef Adventures out of Key West. He and four other divers entered the water to dive the stern of the Vandenberg. The other divers told Major Crimes Detective Vince Weiner they all descended, but Bakazan suddenly did a rapid ascent without giving any distress signals or any indications he was having trouble. Those left on board the boat saw him surface and sent someone out in the water to assist him, but as that person was approaching Bakazan he submerged and they lost sight of him and he could not be found after that.

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