ESTERO, Fla.-The Lee County Sheriff's Office received a medical emergency call in Stoneybrook Golf and Country Club, Estero Thursday at approximately 7:30 a.m. The caller stated there was a diver working in a lake who had not resurfaced and a second diver kept going into the lake trying to locate him.
Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office along with members from Estero Fire and Rescue and the Iona McGregor Fire District arrived on scene. The investigation revealed the two divers had been performing an inspection in the lake related to shoreline erosion. The two men entered the water with SCUBA gear to begin an inspection of the area. The missing diver had waved his hand with a signal that indicated he was in distress. The second diver stated after he observed the distress signal he no longer saw bubbles in the water. He then entered the water in an attempt to assist his co-worker, but was unsuccessful. A person passing by called 911.
Rescue divers with the Iona Dive Team were able to locate the SCUBA tank, but did not locate the missing diver. The Lee County Sheriff's Office Dive Team then assumed the recovery operations. A Lee County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit Detective arrived on scene and assumed the investigation. The body was found and recovered by the dive team. As divers were recovering the body, 2 water moccasins approached the area. One deputy had to discharge a department shotgun, killing one snake to assure the safety of the divers. A short time later another deputy discharged his AR-15 to kill a second snake.
The victim has been identified as Hugo Amaliel Soto Catalan, 23, of Bonita Springs.
The cause of death is under investigation pending autopsy results with a final determination to be made by the medical examiner. There are no apparent injuries or trauma and foul play is not suspected.