Diver rescued after being missing offshore for hours

It was a scary scene out in the Gulf Friday.

SIESTA KEY - SARASOTA, Fla. -- Authorities are reminding boaters to check weather conditions before heading out on the water, after a diver was recused in rough Friday afternoon seas. 

Sarasota Police Department dispatch received word of a missing diver around 1:45 p.m. in the Siesta Key area.

SPD Marine Patrol officer Michael Skinner, along with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer Eric Sierra, fought 6 ft. waters and 20 knot winds to locate the diver's boat at approximately 3:15.

The boat was nine miles offshore and the only occupant wasn't familiar with boating navigation or using the radio communications aboard the boat.

He was, however, was able to inform officers that the diver had been missing for nearly two hours.

Officers were joined by the U.S. Coast Guard in St. Petersburg as well as the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office to assist with the search and rescue.

Shortly after the boat was found, members of the Coast Guard found the missing diver.

Authorities say that aside from exhaustion and dehydration, the diver was in good health. 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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