Diver dies off Manasota Key Beach

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Crews say a diver, who went missing off a beach in Sarasota County, has been found dead.

The search got underway off the Australian Pines area of Manasota Key Beach Thursday morning after a group of three divers went under the water, but only two resurfaced.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says it got a 911 call from a private boat about a mile north of Manasota Key Beach about the missing scuba diver.

The Venice Fire Department Marine Unit eventually found the body of 61-year-old James Little, of Venice.

Venice diver Mike Karol told FOX 13 News how this tragedy may have happened.

"Closer to shore it's pretty shallow. It's dirty water. The deeper you go the clearer it gets. You can get lost very easy," Karol said. "Rule of thumb is, if you lose your buddy, wait a couple of minutes and go to the surface and look, but that doesn't always happen."

Manasota Key is a popular spot for divers. Many come to look for shark teeth and explore a newly-found offshore Native American burial ground.

Multiple agencies, including the United States Coast Guard, FWC, Venice Fire Department, and Sarasota County Emergency Service, helped with the search.

Little's cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner.