Canadian Filmmaker Rob Stewart Found Dead After Scuba Dive

Rob Stewart
Courtesy of Sharkwater Productions

Canadian filmmaker and marine biologist Rob Stewart’s body has been recovered off the Florida Keys, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed on Friday. Stewart, 37, had gone missing after going deep sea scuba diving Tuesday, visiting the wreck of the Queen of Nassau. He was in the area filming a sequel to his documentary “Sharkwater.”

The news comes after days of rescue operations. The Coast Guard solicited volunteer help, as did film distributor D Films, which worked with Stewart and considered him a “dear friend” of the company.

“If you have a boat with searchlights, please help,” a tweet for D Film’s account read, among other calls for help and retweeted articles and videos about the search.

Stewart was best known for directing and producing the 2006 film “Sharkwater,” a critically-acclaimed conservation film that helped get shark finning banned worldwide. The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and won 31 awards internationally.

His next film, “Revolution,” expanded Stewart’s conservation efforts to at-risk ecosystems, the threats posed to the world environmentally and what young people can do to help solve the problem.

His family posted a message on the “Sharkwater” website. It read, “Rob has been found, peacefully in the ocean. There are no words. We are so deeply grateful to everyone who helped search, and happy that Rob passed while doing what he loved. We are working on how best to honour his incredible work. The Stewart family kindly asks that they are given some private time to grieve. Thank you everyone.”

Stewart grew up swimming and scuba diving. It blossomed to a love of the marine, leading Stewart to study biology in school at the University of Western Ontario and zoology and marine biology in Kenya and Jamaica.

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  1. Caroline says:

    Rob, Thank you for your love of sharks and bringing more awareness to the conservation of sharks . My prayers to your family . Peace

  2. Donna Finnigan says:

    I am so sorry to hear of this:( A very heartfelt “Thank You” for all of your passionate work for the conservation of Sharks, your dedication and drive will always be remembered and appreciated! May you rest upon the Oceans waves, leaving a legacy of protection for one of our world mist awesome creatures, Sharks!!!

  3. says:

    I understand the sadness for this loss. A terrible tragedy. It does appear that he did push his own luck with that deep of dive. His own dive partner passed out upon getting out of the water. We are all human and cannot defy human ability.

  4. Linda says:

    I remember reading that he had come up from the dive, motioned that he was okay, the person on the boat did something with the boat and when he turned back around he was gone. He immediately dove in looking for him and couldn’t find him so I don’t think it was a question of not having a diving buddy.

  5. Gary Zaremba says:

    I’ve been diving since 1974 and I also have a Marine Biology plus a Chemistry degree. I would NEVER dive that deep without a dive buddy close by. It’s also the law. HOW did it happen that he got separated from his buddy and nobody seems to know how he died, especially when they were all down there filming? I don’t get it. Questions need to be answered and the authorities should be involved.

    • Jessica says:

      The dive buddy got on the boat first and passed out immediately, the crew tended to the dive buddy and then went to get Rob and he was gone.

  6. Gary Zaremba says:

    WHERE was his dive buddy???? 220 feet is DEEP and no one should be that deep without a buddy nearby in case of problems like nitrogen narcosis, equipment problems, difficulty breathing, etc.

  7. I was so hoping this would have had a different outcome. Shocked and saddened, but relieved he was recovered. RIP, Rob…and condolences to his family!

  8. John J. Staunton says:

    Dear God this is certainly unreal. Words cannot describe how shocked i am to hear of this. May God bless Rob for putting so much effort into all that he has done for Sharks and the planet in general. May God be with his family, friends and all the people that knew of him and all the wonderful work he has done for Humanity. i myself have been very moved by his DVD and it will always hurt me to watch it. I pray God will keep him safe next to him on his throne with Jesus and all the angels of Mercy. Although I have never met him, I feel that I have lost someone very close to me. I will truly miss him.

    • Richard Karels says:

      Please don’t talk about a god… there is no god! Rob’s death is bad enough. If there would have been a god he would still be alive! R.I.P. Rob, Thank you for all you did to preserve marine life. You’ll be missed.

      • Caroline says:

        Your just another hater who has nothing better else to do but post negative thoughts during a time of loss . Keep your God comments to yourself . I

      • Ggirl27 says:

        Excuse me– I am agnostic/ atheist, but I believe John J. Staunton’s words were sincere and very, very heartfelt. It is quite clear that John was moved and inspired by Rob. I find it entirely inappropriate that you chose this time to make a statement about your personal feelings about religion.

      • Gary Zaremba says:

        There is a God and Rob’s probably with him. Maybe someday you’ll be lucky enough to realize that.

      • Michael Hunt says:

        +thar: I couldn’t have said it better.

        +John J. Staunton I feel exactly the same way. Don’t let these atheists ruin your beautiful message with their negativity.

      • thar says:

        Please don’t judge, yet not judge yourself by the same standards. ALL ARE FREE to speak of God if they choose to do so. Just as you are free to deny His existence. God did not create us to be battery powered robots that do as we are programmed to do. We are FREE to choose, think, believe, act as we see fit. As such, many human beings make horrific, sinful choices. We live in a broken and fallen world. That is not the doing of a cruel God. It is OUR doing. He doesn’t force us to be kind, humble, compassionate, or giving. That is OUR choice to make, as are all evil choices. A man died. Someone of faith spoke words of light and peace over the tragedy. YOU turned that into something ugly. You get to own that. Try to discover tolerance. It goes a LONG way in leaving something positive behind. SMH at you choosing THIS post to make it about an atheist attack on someone’s spiritual choices.

      • barb311 says:

        Richard, you are exactly right! If there was a god, he certainly chose a horrific death for such a great man.

      • Hey, if this gives him peace and comfort, what do you care? Let him believe as he believes. You dont have to. Peace.

  9. Kim Roberts says:

    The world has lost another great man. Without the good men in this world, we’d have no men.

  10. I was really hoping he’d be found alive. RIP Rob :-(

  11. Franny Vandenberg says:

    His work has not and will not be in vain. Rest in peace

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