The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for a 44-year-old man who went missing during a dive to a shipwreck off the Florida Keys last week, officials announced Monday. Crews had been searching forsince he was reported missing Wednesday.
“This was a tragic accident,” Coast Guard Capt. Jason Ingram, commander of the agency’s Key West sector, said in a statement. “Diving is an inherently dangerous activity. Mr. Faulkenberry’s passion for the sea is well remembered by the dive community here in the Keys and my deepest condolences are with his family at this difficult time.”
Faulkenberry was reported missing Wednesday morning after he was overdue returning from a dive to the wreck of the USS Vandenberg about 7 miles off Key West, the agency said. The decommissioned ship dates back to World War II, and it was intentionally sunk in the area in 2009 to add an artificial reef to a marine sanctuary.
Crews searched an area of approximately 4,300 square miles, about the size of Connecticut, for Faulkenberry without success, the Coast Guard said.
Anyone with information about Faulkenberry’s whereabouts was urged to contact the Coast Guard.