Thursday, July 22, 2010

Renowned Underwater Photographer Wes Skiles Dies While Diving

The dive community suffered a hard blow yesterday with news that esteemed photographer Wes Skiles had passed away during a dive off the Palm Beach County coast.

Renowned underwater photographer Wes Skiles died Wednesday while filming underwater off Florida's east coast, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Skiles, 52 of High Springs, was pronounced dead after he was found motionless at the bottom of a reef Wednesday afternoon.

Skiles had been diving with others about three miles east of the Boynton Beach Inlet, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera. The diver had been filming locally for National Geographic, she said.

Skiles apparently alerted the other divers that he was ascending because he was out of film, Barbera said. The others continued in the water but later decided to ascend.

"On their way to the surface, they found him at the bottom of the reef motionless," Barbera said.

The man was rushed to the surface, and CPR was administered.

Barbera said the man was taken to an area hospital and was pronounced dead.

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Skiles and his full service production company, Karst Productions, dedicated their work to giving the world an unparalleled view into underwater worlds far and near.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Skiles' family and friends.

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