Family members confirmed 52-year-old Brian Whitaker was the diver who was found dead 18 miles off the coast of Sanibel Island Wednesday.
MORE: US Coast Guard locates the body of missing diver off Fort Myers Beach
Crew members with the U.S. Coast Guard station on Fort Myers Beach found Whitaker’s body around 10:50 a.m.
“My heart goes out to the family because they lost somebody,” said Brent Argabright, owner of Dean’s Dive Center. “And he died doing what he probably loved.”
Whitaker was originally reported to have never surfaced after he went out on a boat for a scuba diving trip with three other divers.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Coral Fire Rescue and Estero Marine Dive Team all assisted in the search for the Whitaker.
Argabright emphasized what encapsulates the scuba community.
“Scuba diving is not an adrenaline-junkie sport,” Argabright said. “It is more based on passion and the fact that people want to go out there for the relaxation of it.