FWC pilot spots missing diver, who's exhausted but OK

When divers are reported missing, usually the outcome isn't good. For one lucky man diving near the USS Vandenberg wreck about seven miles off Key West Wednesday, it was.

During a search for the man after he was reported missing by the U.S. Coast Guard around 11:55 a.m., Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission pilot Daniel Willman spotted him from the air and his colleagues were able to get to him, get him on an FWC boat and take him back to his dive boat.

"The diver was tired and exhausted from the ordeal but did not require any medical assistance," according to the FWC.

The agency said Willman was on patrol over the Middle Keys when he got the call. He headed south and started to coordinate the search from the air with FWC and Coast Guard boats below. A Coast Guard helicopter also was involved.

While crews on the boats were searching, Willman saw something green and something black in the water and alerted the others. Sure enough, when they got there, it was the diver with his gear.

"The friends and family were very grateful of the efforts from all the agencies," the FWC says.