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Thread: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys

  1. #1
    John H Hanzl johnnyh is an unknown quantity at this point johnnyh's Avatar
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    Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys

    Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart, who make the film Sharkwater, reportedly went missing on Tuesday in the Florida Keys. I had the opportunity to meet with Rob when he screened Sharkwater at the New England Aquarium. I hope he's found safe and well, both for his and his family's sake, but also because he's an important voice in shark conservation.

    Florida Keys News reports:

    The scuba diver who’s been missing since Tuesday evening is a well-known Canadian underwater filmmaker and conservationist.

    Rob Stewart, 37, was diving with a small group on the wreck of the Queen of Nassau near Alligator Reef off Lower Matecumbe Key in about 225 feet of water, his sister Alexandra Stewart said by phone from Toronto Wednesday morning. He was filming an installment of his Sharkwater documentary series, Alexandra Stewart said.

    According to an email from the conservation group Sea Shepherd, Stewart and another diver were using closed-circulation rebreathing dive equipment instead of conventional scuba tanks, which are open-air circulation.

    They both resurfaced about 5:15 p.m. and the other diver got onto their dive boat boat and passed out. When the dive boat crew went to retrieve Stewart, he was no longer in sight. According to the Sea Shepherd email, the boat crew members think Stewart passed out as well and floated off.

    His sister said she’s worried his buoyancy control device, which keeps divers floating at the surface, isn’t fully inflated.

    “Time is really important right now,” she said.

    Rebreathers recirculate the diver’s air by passing it through a scrubbing pad, which takes out the carbon dioxide. The devices have advantages, especially when filming wildlife, particularly the lack of bubbles to scare off fish. But they also pose more risk to the diver’s safety than conventional scuba tanks.

    The crew of a vessel called The Pisces reported Stewart missing around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to Petty Officer Eric Woodall, Coast Guard spokesman.

    The Coast Guard launched a 33-foot fast response boat from Coast Guard Station Islamorada, a MH-65-Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami and the cutter Charles Sexton from Sector Key West to conduct the search.

    The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also participated in the effort, Woodall said. Divers with the Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department joined the search Wednesday morning.

    Woodall said the conditions on the water and in the air were favorable Wednesday morning, with 3-foot seas and good visibility. He said there is no estimate on how long the search will continue.

    “There are a lot of variables, but right now, we’re just focusing on locating him,” Woodall said.

    Sea Shepherd, whose leader, Paul Watson, was heavily featured in 2002’s Sharkwater, has also sent one if its Miami-based vessels to help in the search for Stewart.

    “At this point, we can only hope for the best,” Watson said in a Facebook posting.

    In the meantime, Stewart’s colleagues and family are asking for the local diving, fishing, boating and flying communities for their help.

    “We’re asking everyone in the area to help out, particularly if they have sonar or infrared equipment,” Alexandra Stewart said.
    http://www.flkeysnews.com/news/local...130011724.html
    John Hanzl

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    RBW Member manni-yunk is an unknown quantity at this point manni-yunk's Avatar
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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys

    No replies yet. I saw that someone on another board stated that Peter Sotis was his buddy on this dive? Does anyone know if that is BS internet rumours?


    I heard at least one of his buddies on this dive also passed out? Is Sotis OK?
    Last edited by manni-yunk; 3rd February 2017 at 12:52.

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    Unhappy Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys


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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys


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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys


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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys

    Any updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by manni-yunk  View Original Post
    No replies yet. I saw that someone on another board stated that Peter Sotis was his buddy on this dive? Does anyone know if that is BS internet rumours?


    I heard at least one of his buddies on this dive also passed out? Is Sotis OK?
    Last edited by Jacqueline; 4th February 2017 at 01:03.

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    John H Hanzl johnnyh is an unknown quantity at this point johnnyh's Avatar
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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys

    I'm very sad to hear of his passing. We've lost a strong voice for shark conservation and someone who I personally knew and respected.
    John Hanzl

    Author, Out of Hell's Kitchen
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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys

    Sad to see - given at the surface and the other diver passed-out on deck, along with a deeper dive than usual, odds seem to favor hypoxia.

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    John H Hanzl johnnyh is an unknown quantity at this point johnnyh's Avatar
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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys

    I'm very sad to hear of his passing. We've lost a strong voice for shark conservation and someone who I personally knew and respected.
    John Hanzl

    Author, Out of Hell's Kitchen
    www.outofhellskitchen.com

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    Re: Filmmaker Rob Stewart missing rebreather diving in Florida Keys


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