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.