Body Believed To Be That of Missing Diver Found in Sunken Wreck Near Key Largo: Authorities

Josef Gragojedich, 43, had been diving inside the 510-foot-long USS Spiegel Grove, about 130 feet below the surface six nautical miles east of Key Largo when he went missing.

Friday, Oct 18, 2013  |  Updated 3:54 PM EDT
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Authorities said they found the body of a diver they believe is Josef Gragojedich, 43, inside a sunken Navy ship in waters off Key Largo Friday.

Just after 1:30 p.m. the body was located inside the wreck of the 510-foot-long USS Spiegel Grove by divers from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and Key Largo Fire Rescue, the sheriff's office said. Divers are working to recover the body from the ship.

Gragojedich went missing on Thursday while diving inside the Spiegel Grove, about 130 feet below the surface six nautical miles east of Key Largo.

Gragojedich had been with a diving partner when he went missing. The captain of a charter diving vessel, Scuba-DO, reported the incident, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A boat crew from Islamorada and an air crew from Miami launched to assist in the search, the Coast Guard said.

An official identification of the body has not been performed yet, but officials believe that it is Gragojedich. Once they return to shore, the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy.

Gragojedich's equipment is also being recovered and will be examined as detectives seek to piece together what happened to the diver.

Over the years, protective seals that once blocked dark, narrow passageways and rooms inside the sunken vessel have been removed. In 2007, two divers from New Jersey died inside one of those rooms, and another man who had been diving with them died as he tried to reach the surface.

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