Man dies while diving on Spiegel Grove

Friend says man was experienced diver

KEY LARGO, Fla. - Authorities say a Missouri man died while scuba diving with a friend on the Spiegel Grove artificial reef.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said David Hargis of Kansas City appeared to be in some distress during a dive Saturday at the Spiegel Grove artificial reef and signaled that he needed to surface.

Fellow divers helped Hargis remove his gear, but he lost consciousness as he climbed on board the chartered diving boat.

Paramedics and a sheriff's deputy met the boat at Key Largo Harbor Marina, but Hargis was declared dead at the dock.

His dive gear is being examined. An autopsy will be scheduled.

A friend said Hargis was a frequent diver and they'd been diving many times together before.

The former U.S.S. Spiegel Grove is the largest intentionally sunk ship in the world. It has served as an artificial reef in 130 feet of water off Key Largo since its sinking in 2002.

The sinking of the ship did not go as planned, and the ship ended up on its side on the bottom, not what planners intended. Then, when Hurricane Dennis churned through South Florida in 2005, the storm uprighted the ship.

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