Authorities suspend search for local diver missing in Gulf of Mexico

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By: Lanetra Bennett
June 19, 2017

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- The search has been suspended for a missing diver.

The Shell Point resident went missing Saturday. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission saying the diver went missing about 14 miles offshore, South of Jefferson County.

The diver as been identified as 46-year-old William Glen Peel. Authorities say he was scuba diving from a 20-foot boat.
The person with him reported he did not resurface.

Shell Point resident Robert Palmer said, "When it happens to somebody that close, you are concerned. It raises our eyebrows to what we do here at Shell Point--boating, fishing, diving and anything involving water sports."

FWC says they got the call about Peel being missing around 12:40 Saturday afternoon. The FWC, along with the United States Coast Guard and the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office responded.

FWC provided multiple boats, officers, and dive teams to search for Peel.

The search Sunday as well as a brief period on Monday.

A spokesman for the FWC says they had a boat out for about three or four hours Monday, but the seas became to rough for an effective search. He says they'll continue when weather conditions allow.

By: Amy Robinson | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 19, 2017

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Officials have suspended the search for a diver who went missing off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

On Saturday at approximately 12:41 p.m., the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received a report about a diver who went missing approximately 14 miles off the coast, south of Jefferson County.

The FWC, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene to conduct a search.

FWC says the missing diver is 46-year-old William G. Peel.

The Coast Guard says Peel was scuba diving off of a 20' boat when he failed to resurface and the person he was with reported him missing.

The FWC says multiple vessels, officers and dive team members were used in the search effort.

FWC and USCG continued to search the 800 square nautical mile-area on Sunday, but Peel was not found.

The search was suspended Sunday night, pending any further information on Peel's possible location.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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