Environment

Wes Skiles DEAD: Underwater Photographer Dies At 52

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Wesley Skiles, a well-known underwater photographer, cinematographer and explorer, has died.

The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office on Thursday said Skiles died the day before while on a dive. He was 52.

Authorities say Skiles motioned to one of his divers that he was ascending because he was out of film. Several minutes later the rest decided to ascend and they saw Skiles' body lying motionless on the ocean floor. They rushed him to the surface and administered CPR. He was transported to a hospital and pronounced deceased.

National Geographic said Skiles worked with them frequently. Authorities say Skiles diving for the magazine when he died. National Geographic said it was after the conclusion of a "scientific research expedition related to marine life."

National Geographic released the following statement:

National Geographic has learned of the tragic death of Wes Skiles, the accomplished underwater photographer, cinematographer and explorer with whom we've worked frequently. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident, which occurred following the conclusion of a scientific research expedition related to marine life off the east coast of Florida. Our thoughts are with Wes' family.

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