Search on for Cana­dian film­maker Rob Ste­wart who dis­ap­peared in Florida wa­ters

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT - BY LIAM CASEY THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

A Cana­dian film­maker has dis­ap­peared af­ter a deep dive in Florida wa­ters that left his part­ner un­con­scious, ac­cord­ing to the miss­ing man’s sis­ter.

Rob Ste­wart, 37, was in Florida film­ing a doc­u­men­tary called “Shark­wa­ter: Ex­tinc­tion’’ when the in­ci­dent hap­pened, his sis­ter, Alexan­dra Ste­wart, said Wed­nes­day.

She said Rob Ste­wart and a dive in­struc­tor re­turned to the sur­face near Al­li­ga­tor Reef off the coast of the Florida Keys around 5 p.m. Tues­day.

“The other diver got on board and was strug­gling to get on board and then fell un­con­scious,’’ she said. “Rob gave the OK sig­nal to the boat, but as the other diver fell un­con­scious, there was a com­mo­tion around that on board and the boat lost sight of Rob.’’

Ste­wart’s sis­ter said there’s a con­cern her brother lost con­scious­ness as well.

The dive was her brother’s third one of the day, she said, not­ing that he and his in­struc­tor had gone down about 70 me­tres.

The fam­ily is in shock, she said.

“I’m do­ing ter­ri­bly, we all are, but we have hope.’’

She said her par­ents and her hus­band are in Florida help­ing man­age search ef­forts, but they still need those with ex­pe­ri­ence to join the search that is be­ing co-or­di­nated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard se­nior chief Nyx Cangemi said crews had been look­ing for the con­ser­va­tion­ist since he was re­ported miss­ing.

He said the search for Ste­wart in­cluded boat and he­li­copter crews. The U.S. Navy, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion and the Mon­roe County Sher­iff’s Of­fice are also help­ing.

Ste­wart, a Toronto na­tive, is known for his doc­u­men­taries that in­clude “Rev­o­lu­tion’’ and his mem­oir “Save the Hu­mans.’’

A global wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher, Ste­wart has de­voted his ca­reer to warn­ing the world about threats fac­ing sharks, other ocean life and hu­man­ity in gen­eral.

His 2006 doc­u­men­tary “Shark­wa­ter,’’ which de­buted at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, be­came an in­ter­na­tional hit and prompted peo­ple around the world to lobby their gov­ern­ments for bans on shark finning.

AP PHOTO

This file photo shows film­maker Rob Ste­wart at the Mod­ern Master Award Cer­e­mony at the Santa Bar­bara In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in Santa Bar­bara, Calif. The U.S. Coast Guard is search­ing the At­lantic off of the Florida Keys for Ste­wart who went miss­ing while scuba div­ing.

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