ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - The U.S. Coast Guard says they may have found the body of a diver who went missing on Labor Day off Ponce de Leon Inlet in central Florida.
Authorities said a group of private divers being escorted by a Coast Guard boat crew from Station Ponce De Leon Inlet in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., recovered the body Tuesday afternoon of a man matching the description of the diver, 28-year-old Ryan Myers, reported missing Monday.
When he didn't resurface, the crew of the fishing vessel Yellowfin reported Myers missing to the Coast Guard in Jacksonville.
The crew of a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules from Air Station Clearwater was in the area for training on Monday and was diverted to search for the diver. On the way to the site, they spotted an overturned kayak, which was about 10 miles from the site where the diver went missing. So, the search extended to a missing diver and kayaker. That search was called off Monday night because there was no report of an overdue kayaker.
"The (boat owner) said they were spearfishing on an underwater ledge," said Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate David Carrig, the officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon in New Smyrna Beach.
But the search for the diver continued into Tuesday with a group of local divers joining the Coast Guard to look for the missing man.
On Tuesday, the Coast Guard said they found a body in the search area matching the description of the missing diver. However, the Coast Guard cannot confirm the identity of the body found until a medical examiner makes positive identification.
Authorities said the divers located the body with diving gear on about 30 miles east of Ponce De Leon Inlet at 12:54 p.m. in the location where Myers was diving.
The Coast Guardsmen brought the body aboard the 45-foot Response Boat – Medium and transported it to Station Ponce De Leon Inlet to be met by a medical examiner.
The Coast Guard is awaiting identification.
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