Florida Keys

Diver from Orlando missing since Saturday off Islamorada

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday was searching for a scuba diver who's been missing since Saturday off Islamorada.

Matthew Milton, 32, of Orlando was diving with his brother-in-law, Jeffrey Stewart, 35, on the oceanside. The Coast Guard says the search area for Milton is about 15 miles out.

The two had headed out on a rented 23-foot fishing boat about 7 a.m. Saturday and were due back at 5 p.m.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says they were planning their last dive before heading in around 11 a.m. They secured the boat's anchor line to the ocean floor and planned to use it as a guide when resurfacing, but when they looked for it, it was gone.

Stewart told Deputy Nelson Sanchez he and Milton did resurface and saw their boat had drifted away. They tried to swim for it but couldn't catch up to it and the two got separated.

That's when, Stewart said, he saw another dive boat at the Eagle wreck and swam for it while yelling to the crew. He apparently wasn't heard and that boat headed out. But he did reach the wreck and held onto a mooring buoy there.

At 7 p.m. the boat-rental company called the Coast Guard to report them overdue. At 10 p.m., a Guard crew found Stewart still clinging to the buoy but there was no sign of Milton.

Searching Monday were crews aboard a Coast Guard helicopter, an airplane and a 154-foot cutter.

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