After nearly three days of searching, on Friday, February 3rd, search-and-rescue divers found the body of conservationist and filmmaker Rob Stewart.
The commander of USCG Sector Key West Captain 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. Rescuers searched nearly 6,000 square miles of ocean over the course of three days.
Rob Stewart was filming the next installment of his Sharkwater series when he and other divers surfaced between 5 and 5:30pm on Tuesday. Crew pulled his buddy into the boat and he immediately passed out. When the crew turned to retrieve Stewart, he was no longer there. The crew believes he passed out as well. Stewart was using a rebreather at a depth of 225 feet – deeper than he had dived previously. He was reported missing at 5:15pm on Tuesday.
In Tweets today, the Coast Guard confirms that it used an ROV to help locate his body. The agency also held a press conference about an hour before the Coast Guard announced the recovery of his body.
His family has also made announcements.
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.