Dashiel Marder, a 30-year-old world-class spearfisherman from Springs, disappeared on April 17 while diving off the coast of East Nusa Tengarra in Indonesia. According to his family, the owners of the Marders Garden Center and Nursery in Bridgehampton, the veteran free diver did not surface after a dive.
Teams are expected to continue the search at least until the end of the week.
The family was first told he had gone missing by his diving companions, who said the dive site and surrounding areas were being scoured by divers, both free-diving and using scuba gear, and with knowledge of the area’s tides, currents, and rock formations, as well as the missing man’s particular diving habits.
The popular waterman is a free-diving spearfisherman who got into the sport fishing local waters for striped bass and tuna. It became his passion, and he has traveled the world to pursue it. The family said it was the remoteness of the waters off East Nusa Tengarra, southeast of Sumatra, and the exotic fish found there that drew Dashiel Marder.
At the time of the incident, he was hunting dogtooth tuna and other large pelagic species. Mr. Marder’s dive boat left from the Nihiwatu resort on the island of Sumba.
Free divers do not use scuba gear. They dive as deep as 130 feet using weights on a single breath, often remaining underwater for as long as three minutes. On this particular trip, Mr. Marder had been fishing for three weeks before he disappeared. His family said it was possible that he had suffered what is known as shallow-water blackout, when a diver becomes unconscious at the end of a dive. His speargun was found, but the cause of his disappearance is still a mystery.
The Marder family is working through the American, Indonesian, Swiss, and Australian Embassies. Family and friends are desperate for information, which, because of language difficulties and the remoteness of the area being searched, has been hard to obtain. A new search team was sent out in recent days to try to compile what is known and to follow up on any leads.