Diver’s body recovered off coast of Florida Panhandle

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — A free diver’s body was recovered Thursday from the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Panhandle, officials said.

Dive team members found the 31-year old man’s body in about 75 feet (23 meters) of water near a reef about 2 miles (3 kilometers) southwest of Destin Pass, according to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The experienced free diver was spearfishing near Mack’s Reef Wednesday afternoon when witnesses said he went down and never resurfaced.

The sheriff’s office, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Eglin Security Forces searched the area until nightfall and then resumed Thursday morning.

No signs of trauma were found on the diver, officials said. An autopsy will determine an official cause of death. The diver’s name was not immediately released.

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