Florida Keys

Florida Keys boater found dead in dark waters. He was wearing dive gear, cops say

The U.S. Coast Guard ended a search for a missing man Saturday after finding his body near Stock Island.
The U.S. Coast Guard ended a search for a missing man Saturday after finding his body near Stock Island. U.S. Coast Guard

A 64-year-old man was found dead in dark waters near Stock Island Saturday night after having been reported missing for more than 24 hours, authorities said.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Raymond Fenton Robbins went to sea on his boat Friday morning as usual, but did not return before dark, like he routinely did.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found his boat about 11 p.m. Friday, but Robbins was not on board. For the next day, the agency, the Keys sheriff’s office dive team and the Coast Guard searched for Robbins.

Coast Guard searchers found Robbins’ body late Saturday in waters near Stock Island. He was wearing dive gear.

Authorities did not immediately release a cause of death.

“It saddens us deeply when we cannot bring someone back after searching for them extensively,” said U.S. Coast Guard Officer 1st Class Ryan Andzelik in a statement. “Anytime we get underway to search in the maritime domain for someone missing, we always hope to bring them back safely to their friends and family.”

An autopsy and further investigation is pending, police said.

Robbins is the second person to be discovered deceased at sea within a few days span. On Wednesday night, a 49-year-old man was found dead on a boat moored off of Wisteria Island, an undeveloped island near Key West.

Blair Gallagher, formerly of North Carolina, was pronounced dead at the scene. Foul play is not suspected, police said.

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