Coast Guard suspends search for missing diver

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 32-year-old female diver around 3:45 p.m. Sunday after a two-day search. Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators in Key West received a call around 12:30 p.m. Saturday of a missing diver near Content Keys, Fla., approximately four miles northwest of Big Pine Key, Fla.

The 32-year-old female diver was using a third lung apparatus (also known as a hookah rig) when she surfaced and said she lost her air. Reports say that she then disappeared and is suspected to have sunk in 20 feet of water as she was still wearing a weight belt. As soon as she disappeared family and friends searched for her in the water but could not locate her.

The Coast Guard responded immediately by launching smallboat crews from Coast Guard Stations Key West and Marathon, Fla., and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded by diverting a boat and launching an FWC helicopter from the Marathon Airport.

The Coast Guard and FWC searched the area until sunset Saturday. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office dive team personnel conducted dive-search operations Sunday near Contents Key, Fla., in an attempt to locate the missing diver but had to stop searching due to approaching foul weather. The Coast Guard supported MCSO Sunday with a smallboat crew from Station Key West.

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