Diver found dead off the coast of Sarasota

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A man went diving off the coast of Sarasota and never came back.

After an exhaustive search, his body was recovered not far from where he entered the water.

On Tuesday afternoon, 56-year-old Hieu Chi Trinh from Manatee County went diving for stone crab claws, but he didn’t tell his loved ones where he was going. The family was alarmed when he never returned.

“The family was obviously very concerned and did their own investigation and found his car at the New Pass Bait shop,” said Sarasota Police Lt. Robert Armstrong.

The SUV was spotted in Sarasota, some diving gear was still in the back.

So a massive search began in foggy conditions. Sarasota police teamed up with area agencies to canvass the area.

Diving experts say this is a popular spot to find stone crabs, and sadly that’s where he was found too.”Just near the west side of the New Pass Bridge,” said Lt. Armstrong.

Loved ones were too distraught to speak on camera, but police tell us the 56-year-old had three decades’ worth of diving experience.

“If you’re diving, its always best to have a second diver with you, he has a lot of experience, it’s a very sad case and I really feel for the family,” said Lt. Armstrong.

A diving instructor tells 8 On Your side you should have a plan, bring a buddy, and let your loved ones know where you are.

The instructor adds there are strong currents here, and the water’s cooler temperatures could have impacted Trinh’s air consumption.

But investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened to him.

“We don’t know at this point, it may have been a medical emergency, so it could’ve been something out of his control,” said Lt. Armstrong.

The case is still under investigation. If you have any information to help in the case, call police

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