A U.S. Coast Guard crew stationed in Cortez helped rescue a scuba diver who went missing after separating from friends. The incident occurred Oct. 15 about 9 miles southwest of Sarasota Pass.
The agency reported that a 43-year-old Sarasota man was scuba diving with friends at about 7:30 p.m. when he became separated from the group. The divers had gone underwater to release the boat’s anchor and, when they surfaced, the vessel was moving. Two divers climbed into the drifting boat, but the third went missing.
The friends contacted the Coast Guard over VHF radio and requested assistance.
A crew from Cortez headed out, along with a Jayhawk helicopter crew from the station in Clearwater.
The helicopter crew spotted the diver at about 8 p.m. and lowered a rescue swimmer to the man’s aid. The Cortez crew pulled the diver from the water and took him to paramedics waiting at the boat ramp at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach.
“While operating a private boat, it is important to make sure someone knowledgeable of boat procedures and dive safety stays topside to tend to the boat,” said Coast Guard search and rescue controller Jason Morris.