US Missing Diver Is Presumed Dead in Bimini Waters, but His Sister Is Hopeful
Click to Listen Now
The sister of a missing American free diver who went missing in Bimini waters said she will not give up finding her brother, even though the Royal Bahamas Defense Force and the US Coast Guard called off the search.
In hopes that he is still alive, in a message to him she said, “Ryan, we will never stop looking for you.”
Nicole Proulx said Ryan went missing on Friday around 6 pm, while free diving in Bahamian waters near the Bimini Barge Wreck, approximately 1.5 miles west of Bimini Inlet, wearing a green UV hooded shirt, heather green athletic shorts, red dive fins, redfin keepers and green snorkels.
He was never found, but a blue pole, red fins, and green shorts were discovered in the surrounding waters on Sunday.
After the US Coast Guard and Royal Bahamas Defence Force suspended the search on Sunday, friends launched a GoFundMe, seeking $60,000 to find the 31-year-old former police officer. As of Monday, more than $30,000 was raised.
“Any money raised will go towards helping fly the volunteer dive team in this effort to bring Ryan home in an honorable manner that he deserves… If Ryan is found prior to this rescue trip, the money will go directly to his family. Any money left after the team goes over will go to the family also,” friend Shelby Morin said.
She described Ryan as a “friend and just an amazing guy.”
Ryan who is from Connecticut, left Palm Beach County Marina, Florida for Bimini last Thursday with a crew including his wife, after free diving around a sunken boat, when he disappeared.
The U.S. Coast Guard deployed two helicopters and a search plane to assist the Royal Bahamas Defense Force in the search but came up empty. After aircraft crews searched over 673 square miles for Ryan, the Coast Guard suspended the search.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the Proulx family,” Lt. Cmdr. Matt Spado, Coast Guard liaison officer, said in a tweet. “The decision to suspend the active search efforts pending further development is one we never take likely.”
Steve Diffenbacher, a friend said Ryan was a U.S.C.G. licensed boat captain and diver and often ran boats from the Northeast down to South Florida for clients who wanted to transport their boats.