This past week, Canadian filmmaker and marine biologist Rob Stewart was reported missing after he set off on a deep sea scuba diving expedition. Stewart’s body was recovered late Friday. The documentarian was 37 at the time of his passing.
Stewart’s body was recovered just off the Florida Keys by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Variety. The man had set off on a deep sea scuba diving adventure this past Tuesday. His goal was to visit and survey the wreckage of the Queen of Nassau. He had been working on a sequel to his popular documentary Sharkwater at the time of his disappearance.
The Coast Guard had solicited volunteer help in finding Stewart earlier in the week, with a rescue operation in full effect at the time the body was discovered. Distributor D Films was also helping to track Rob down. The company had been working with Steward and considered him a ‘dear friend’. A tweet sent out by D Films called for anyone available to help with the search and rescue, sending out this message.
“If you have a boat with searchlights, please help.”
Rob Stewart is perhaps best known for his popular Sharkwater documentary, which debuted in 2006. He produced and directed the movie, a critically-acclaimed conservation film that helped get shark finning banned on a global scale. The documentary had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and won 31 awards internationally. He would later go onto direct Revolution. It expanded the conversation of at-risk ecosystems. And it helped expose some of the threats posed to the world environmentally. It also explored what young people could do to help solve these problems. Rob’s family posted the following message on his official Sharkwater site shortly after the body was recovered.
“Rob has been found, peacefully in the ocean. There are no words. We are so deeply grateful to everyone who helped search, and happy that Rob passed while doing what he loved. We are working on how best to honour his incredible work. The Stewart family kindly asks that they are given some private time to grieve. Thank you everyone.”
Rob was a longtime swimmer and scuba diver, having adjusted to the water fairly quickly as a child. He studied biology at University of Western Ontario, going onto also study zoology and marine biology in Kenya and Jamaica. At this time no cause of death has been announced.