Search for missing diver off Florida coast takes surprising turn when authorities find different body

May 14, 2024
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5/14: CBS Morning News

20:36

Search teams combing the Florida coast for a diver who went missing over the weekend found a male body on Monday, but authorities said it wasn’t the one they were looking for.

“His clothing and physical characteristics do not match those of the missing diver from Sunday,” said the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in a news release

Authorities said they didn’t yet know the identity of the man they pulled from the water. The sheriff said they didn’t have any missing person descriptions in the county matching the body, which weighed between 200 and 225 pounds and appeared to be over 50 years old.

It didn’t appear that the body was in the water for an extended period, authorities said, and medical examiners were working to determine the cause and approximate time of death. 

Virgil Price, the Florida free diver, who went missing on Sunday, was 39 years old and last seen wearing a green wet suit, the sheriff’s office said. Price was freediving near the Halsey, a World War II-era shipwreck, when he failed to resurface. 

Officials are searching for a diver who went missing in Florida
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office assisted in recovering an unknown body from the water during the search for a missing diver.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office


Located about 130 north of Miami, the sunken ship reached its final resting place on May 6, 1942, while en route from Corpus Christi, Texas, to New York. Struck by a torpedo, the ship came to rest on a sand bottom beneath 65 feet of water, according to Fishing Status.

The U.S. Coast Guard said on social media they suspended the search for Price after combing 1,415 miles and searching for 36 hours. “The decision to suspend an active search is never taken lightly. We extend our sincerest condolences to Mr. Price’s family,” said  Lt. Cmdr. John Beal.

Authorities are continuing both investigations.

—Aliza Chazan contributed reporting.

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