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UPDATED: Sheriff’s dive team locates body of missing diver on Spiegel Grove wreck
Two divers went in, only one came out.

Posted Friday, October 18, 2013

UPDATED: Sheriff’s dive team locates body of missing diver on Spiegel Grove wreck
The manuvering bridge, Spiegel Grove wreck, Key Largo, Florida. Photo: Image taken by Clark Anderson/Aquaimages. Wikipedia / Creative Commons.

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The Sheriff’s Office dive team is on the site of the Spiegel Grove wreck offshore of Key Largo this morning looking for a missing diver. The diver, 43 year old Joseph Dragojevich of Orlando, went missing during a dive he made Thursday inside the wreck with a friend.

The two men were on a commercial dive vessel operated by Scuba Do Dive Company with six other divers Thursday afternoon. Although the dive operators and other divers reportedly did not intend to penetrate the wreck itself, Dragojevich and his buddy, 51 year old James Dorminy of Kissimmee did intend to do a penetration dive on the wreck on their own, without a guide.

Dorminy told Deputy Tony Code and Dive Team Leader Sgt. Mark Coleman they attached a reel line when they entered so they would be able to find their way out. They explored several levels of the ship before beginning their exit, following the line. Dorminy said he was in the lead and Dragojevich was reeling in the line behind him. He said when he last saw his friend, Dragojevich signaled with his dive light that he was alright. Dorminy looked back again and had lost sight of him and the line was slack.

He swam back and found the line tangled, but did not find Dragojevich. After searching for as long as he could, he had to surface because he was running out of air. As soon as Dorminy reported what happened at about 4:15 p.m., the crew on the dive vessel called the Coast Guard to report they had a missing diver. The Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded and did a search for Dragojevich, but he was not found.

UPDATE: The body believed to be that of a missing diver from Orlando has been located this afternoon by the Sheriff’s Office Dive team and divers from Key Largo Fire Rescue.

Divers found the body just after 1:30 p.m. inside the wreck of the Spiegel Grove. They are currently in the process of recovering the body from inside the sunken vessel. The process could take several hours to complete. While detectives say they have not had the chance to perform an official identification of the body, it is believed to be that of 43 year old Joseph Dragojevich. Once the body is returned to shore, it will be turned over to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine the cause of his death. His equipment is also being recovered and will be examined for any information which may help detectives piece together what may have happened to him.

Detective Deb Ryan from the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit has been assigned to lead the investigation.

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