Florida Keys News
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Search widens for missing free diver

The Coast Guard widened its search Tuesday for a missing 24-year-old free diver whose sailboat was found adrift and partially submerged off Key Largo.

Noah Cullen's 25-foot sailboat, the Jubilee, was discovered with no one aboard at 3:30 p.m. near Dixie Shoal, about seven miles southeast of Key Largo, according to the Coast Guard.

Cullen, a 2008 graduate of Coral Shores High School and Islamorada resident, is an experienced free diver, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios. Cullen was reportedly planning to dive near Molasses Reef off Key Largo.

The Coast Guard had performed nine separate searches encompassing 1,100 miles since Monday into Tuesday that included helicopters, airplanes, the 87-foot Cutter Sawfish as well as 24-foot response boats from Station Islamorada, Rios said.

Cullen was believed to be alone when he went missing, Rios said.

It was not known what caused the Jubilee to go adrift Tuesday, but there were multiple heavy storms offshore of the Keys much of Monday.

The Jubilee was found by passing good Samaritan boaters who were headed back to Key Largo, Rios said.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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