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Coast Guard suspends search for Texas diver

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Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 5:33 pm | Updated: 8:04 pm, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

MIAMI (AP) — Coast Guard officials say they've suspended their search for a Texas diver who went missing off the Bahamas.

U.S. and Bahamian authorities had been searching for John E. Petty of Longview, Texas, since Sunday night. The Coast Guard announced the halt to its search Wednesday afternoon.

Petty was last seen by other divers on a commercial shark diving venture about 20 nautical miles northwest of West End on Grand Bahama island.

Petty was among eight divers in the group. Coast Guard officials say the captain of the commercial dive vessel alerted authorities when Petty failed to resurface.

Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said Wednesday that a "substantial amount" of dive gear had been found within the search area, but it could not be immediately confirmed that the gear belonged to the missing man.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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