After nearly three days of searching, on Friday February 3rd divers found the body of conservationist and filmmaker Rob Stewart.
The commander of USCG Sector Key West Capt Jeffrey Janszen confirmed that a Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department dive team found Stewart’s body just 300 feet from his last-known position near the deep-water dive on Queen of Nassau wreck off Islamorada.
The search effort included two Coast Guard helicopters, an agency airplane, several boat crews with US Customs and Border Protection, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and numerous private citizens using their own boats and aircraft. Nearly 6,000 square miles of ocean were searched over the course of three days.
Rob Stewart was filming the next of his Sharkwater series when he and other divers surfaced between 5 and 5:30pm on Tuesday. His dive partner was pulled into the boat unconscious. When the crew turned to retrieve Stewart, he was no longer there. The crew believes he was unconscious as well. Stewart was using a rebreather at a depth of 225 ft – deeper than he had dived previously. He was originally reported missing at around 5:15pm tuesday.
In Tweets today, the Coast Guard confirms that an ROV was used to aid in locating his body and also held a press conference just an hour or so before the announcement of the recovery.
Stewart is most famous for Sharkwater, a 2006 documentary that examines global shark-hunting. His second documentary, Revolution, won a number of awards at international film festivals. It was the highest-grossing Canadian documentary in 2013.