Body of missing Orlando diver found in Florida Keys

Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:51:16 AM EST
Updated On: Oct 18 2013 06:56:16 PM EDT

The body of a missing Orlando diver who had last been seen inside a Navy ship sunk in 2002 as an artificial reef off the Florida Keys was located, officials say.

KEY LARGO, Fla. -

The body of a missing Orlando diver who had last been seen inside a Navy ship sunk in 2002 as an artificial reef off the Florida Keys was located Friday afternoon, officials said.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office officials said the body of Joseph Dragojevich, 43, was discovered Friday, a day after he went diving about 6 miles off Key Largo.

The Sheriff's Office says a friend last saw Dragojevich deep inside the 510-foot-long USS Spiegel Grove, which rests about 130 feet below the surface.

Over the years, protective seals that once blocked dark, narrow passageways and rooms inside the sunken vessel have been removed.

Dragojevich worked as a supervisor for Lake EMS in Fruitland Park.

Lake EMS Executive Director Gerald Smith said Dragojevich was vacationing in the Keys and was an avid diver.

"It's very hard I've known Joe for 15 years, he's very dedicated to his patients, to our organization. He's a good guy," Smith said.

In 2007, two divers from New Jersey died inside one of those rooms, and another man who had been diving with them died as he tried to reach the surface.

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