Bite Marks Found on Gear as Search Suspended for Texas Diver Who Disappeared Near the Bahamas

Coast Guard officials have suspended their search for a Texas diver who went missing off the Bahamas after police say they found a mask and other diving items with apparent bite marks during the search.
U.S. and Bahamian authorities had been searching for John E. Petty of Longview, Texas, since Sunday night. The Coast Guard announced the halt to its search Wednesday afternoon.
Petty was last seen by other divers on a commercial shark diving venture about 20 nautical miles northwest of West End on Grand Bahama island.
Petty was among eight divers in the group. Coast Guard officials say the captain of the commercial dive vessel alerted authorities when Petty failed to resurface.
Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said Wednesday that a "substantial amount" of dive gear had been found within the search area, but it could not be immediately confirmed that the gear belonged to the missing man.

The items found included a mask, a tank, a buoyancy device, a camera and a weight belt, according to a statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Some of the items showed visible signs of apparent bite marks, the statement said.

Police are still investigating the incident.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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