Coast Guard suspends search for missing diver near Anclote Key

Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile file photo by PA3 Rob Simpson

Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile file photo by PA3 Rob Simpson

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a missing diver seven miles offshore of Anclote Key, Florida.

Missing is 42-year-old Eddie Brunt III.

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 43 hours covering 1,685 square miles, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders were notified at 1:05 p.m., Saturday by the diving friends of Brunt that he had not resurfaced. Upon notification, Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders deployed Coast Guard crews to search the area with the help of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

“One of the toughest parts of the job is suspending search and rescue efforts, and we do not make this decision lightly,” said Capt. Matt Thompson, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “It is only after the Coast Guard, FWC, and local partner agencies saturated every possible area that we must make this call. Our thoughts are with Mr. Brunt’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Station Sand Key 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile (WPB-87369)
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Pelican (WPB-87327)
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrews
  • FWC marine crews
  • The fishing vessel Fat Cat with four divers

For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For recent photographs follow us on Flickr.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.