Toronto film­maker’s body found near dive in Florida

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

The body of a miss­ing Toronto film­maker has been found.

The U.S. Coast Guard said in a tweet Fri­day that the body of 37year-old Rob Ste­wart was re­port­edly found about 90 me­tres from where the film­maker van­ished while div­ing off the coast of Florida.

A fam­ily spokesper­son con­firmed the re­port, ac­cord­ing to the Toronto Star.

He had been miss­ing since Tues­day, when he and an­other diver sur­faced af­ter his third dive of the day.

The Coast Guard, which planned to sus­pend its search on Fri­day evening, says the body was found in about 60 me­tres of wa­ter.

The last time any­one saw Ste­wart, he had just re­turned to the sur­face Tues­day af­ter a dive about 70 me­tres down near Al­li­ga­tor Reef in the Florida Keys. His div­ing part­ner lost con­scious­ness as he got into the boat, Pisces, his sis­ter pre­vi­ously told The Cana­dian Press.

Coast Guard Capt. Jef­frey Jan­szen said as oth­ers tended to that man and gave him oxy­gen, Ste­wart dis­ap­peared, and his fam­ily be­lieves Ste­wart may have lost con­scious­ness as well.

The boat quickly called for help and the U.S. Coast re­sponded.

Ste­wart was in Florida film­ing a fol­lowup movie to his 2006 doc­u­men­tary “Shark­wa­ter,” called “Shark­wa­ter Ex­tinc­tion,” ac­cord­ing to his sis­ter Alexan­dra Ste­wart.

He is also known for his doc­u­men­taries that in­clude “Revo­lu­tion” and his mem­oir “Save the Hu­mans.” He 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.

Ste­wart said he and his col­leagues risked their lives to make the film. They vis­ited a Costa Ri­can ware­house that traf­ficked in il­le­gal shark fin and con­fronted poach­ers on the high seas.

“This cen­tury we’re fac­ing some pretty cat­a­strophic con­se­quences of our ac­tions,” he said in a 2012 in­ter­view with The Cana­dian Press.

“We’re fac­ing a world by 2050 that has no fish, no reefs, no rain­for­est, and nine bil­lion peo­ple on a planet that al­ready can’t sus­tain seven bil­lion peo­ple. So it’s go­ing to be a re­ally dra­matic cen­tury un­less we do some­thing about it.”

RICHARD SHOTWELL, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

Rob Ste­wart’s body was found by the U.S. Coast Guard in 60 me­tres of wa­ter about 90 me­tres from where he van­ished in a dive Tues­day.

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