A digital newspaper from the South Florida Keys released the video of the recovery of the corpse of Rob Stewart, the shark lover and director of the documentary Sharkwater.
With the signature of Rob Bleser, the captain of the diving and rescue team that found him on February 3 last year, the digital newspaper FL Keys News revealed a video of the moment when the body of the Canadian documentary maker Rob Stewart was found three days ago after he disappeared when surfacing near Islamorada.
Stewart, who presented himself as a biologist, activist and filmmaker, was filming the second part of his acclaimed documentary Sharkwater, a critique of the ruthless killing of sharks with executive production by Gus Van Sant, the director of Good Will Hunting.
On January 31, 2017, Stewart had made three dives with Peter Sotis, owner of the Ad Helium submarine equipment store in Fort Lauderdale, whom the family of the Canadian filmmaker sued for negligence at the end of March of the same year.
Bleser, who now publishes the video, was considered a longtime captain of the diving and rescue team of the Cayo Largo Fire Department. But in April, as a result of the lawsuit filed by the family of the late documentary maker, the Department distanced itself from him.
However, in the almost two months that elapsed between that time and the finding of Stewart’s body, Bleser received praise from all over the world and an official recognition from the United States Coast Guard.
Bleser said that the visibility was terrible at 219 feet and that if they had not used an ROV in the search (for Remotely Operated Vehicle, a kind of submersible drone manipulated by remote control), they would never have found Stewart’s body.
The day he disappeared, Stewart sailed on the Pisces-enabled boat, was using a diving equipment he was not familiar with, the “rebreather”, and went down to depths that he had never submerged before.
The objective was to reach the wreck of the ship Queen of Nassau to record images of the sawfish, the sawtooth shark, a very elusive species of shark.
He wanted to use that diving equipment and not the conventional one because the “rebreather” does not release air balloons because it reprocesses and oxygenates the breath of the diver. So elusive, the sawtooth shark is shocked with the air balloons, according to the expert Adam Skolnick, who published an obituary of Stewart at www.outsideonline.com.
Other divers consulted by Skolnick said that the “rebreather” should never be used for more than two complicated dives (“deco dives”) in the same day, and Stewart disappeared when surfacing after the third.
According to his story, Stewart and Sotis came to the surface after 5 o’clock in the afternoon, Sotis looked troubled, and the crew of the Pisces put him on board to administer oxygen, but not before receiving an ok signal from Stewart. But when they looked back at the water in search of him, he was gone.
“All your life, since you’re a kid, they tell you that sharks are dangerous,” Stewart said to explain why he had done Sharkwater and why he loved sharks. “They warn you not to go far in the sea, until finally … you see what your whole life taught you to fear, and it turns out that it is perfect, and that it does not want to hurt you, and it is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. And then your world changes completely. ”