The Coast Guard is reminding boaters today that it’s important to leave someone in the boat when diving.
A 43-year-old Sarasota man was scuba diving with friends Saturday night when he got separated from the group about 9 miles southwest of Sarasota Pass.
His friends immediately contacted the Coast Guard for help. They arrived by boat and air and began a search for the missing diver. The group had apparently gone under the boat to release the anchor and when they came up the boat was moving with no one on board.
“Two of the divers made it to the drifting boat, but the third couldn’t make it and decided to wait. His friends went back to look for him but couldn’t see him in the dark,” according to Petty Officer 3rd Class Preston Humbard, a Station Cortez boat crew member.
The aircrew aboard the Jayhawk chopper saw the missing diver around 8 p.m. and lowered a swimmer to stay with him until a boat crew arrived. None of the divers were injured.