Florida Keys

Coast Guard searching for missing diver south of Key West

acardona@MiamiHerald.com

This photo from October 2009 shows algae growing on the USS Vandenberg, which was sunk as an artificial reef in May 2009.
This photo from October 2009 shows algae growing on the USS Vandenberg, which was sunk as an artificial reef in May 2009. Miami Herald file

Coast Guard search-and-rescue crews are looking for a diver who went missing Saturday afternoon.

Jim Bakazan, 50, went missing five nautical miles off the coast of Key West while diving in the wreck of the USS Vandenberg, a transport and missile-tracking ship used by the United States Navy in World War II. The ship was retired in 1983, and in May 2009, the ship was sunk. It is now an artificial reef dive.

Bakazan was wearing a black wetsuit.

Coast Guard Sector Key West got a report from a motorboat that the man went missing.

A Monroe County Sheriff's Office dive team and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are helping search for the diver.

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