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Search-and-rescue teams from several state, federal and local agencies are searching for a diver who was reported missing around 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning off the Upper Keys.
The missing man, whose identity has not been released, was on a diving trip aboard the Little Dipper charter boat owned by the Florida Keys Dive Center at mile marker 90.4.
The boat was stopped at Davis Reef when the crew radioed U.S. Coast Guard Station Islamorada at 10:28 a.m. reporting one of its divers missing, sources with the rescue operation said.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin said agencies looking for the man include the Coast Guard, the Sheriff's Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and members of the Key Largo Volunteer Fire-Rescue Department's dive team.
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.
I was out there working, it wasnt bad at all out there condition wise, seas -2ftish vis at that site reported at 70ft vis 25ft max depth. Just a little rain and clouds early. Reported guy was approx age of 62 and 300lbs, dont know height.
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.
For me, buddies stay together from the time they leave the boat until they climb back in. Having one who can't equalize sucks I know, but it happens. If my bud calls a dive, I stay with him until he is back boarding - not just swimming, then consider if I want to go down solo.
"the body of a missing diver was found this afternoon. the us coast guard recovered the body of 62 year old Raymond Lent of oswego, illinois @ 12:30 p.m. today(6/1/12). it was reportedly found about 15 miles out and 10 miles north of Davis Ledge, where he disappeared thursday morning. the body is being brought into the coast guard base in islamorada; it will be turned over to the medical examiners office for an autopsy"