North Miami Beach man dies after diving for anchor off Key Largo

Damian Smith, 41, found on ocean floor near Molasses Reef


KEY LARGO, Fla. – A man has died after he jumped into the water off Key Largo after a boat anchor, Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.

Damian Deandre Smith, 41, of North Miami Beach, was found dead on the ocean floor near the anchor, Herrin said.

According to deputies, Smith was on board a boat with a group of people late Saturday afternoon when someone threw the anchor into the water near Molasses Reef in about 50 feet of water.

Herrin said the anchor was not secured to the boat and both the anchor and line went overboard.

Witnesses said Smith put on a mask, snorkel, fins and a heavy weight belt to retrieve the anchor.

People on the boat told Detective Vince Weiner that they saw Smith surface once and then go back underwater. They said he never resurfaced again.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in the search for Smith. Divers from Key Largo Fire Rescue, who were on board a private boat in the area, found Smith's body on the bottom of the ocean floor near the anchor.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter@WPLGLocal10

About the Author: