Coroner Rules Rob Stewart’s Death ‘Drowning’ By ‘Accident’

Rob Stewart, Sharkwater Director
Rob Stewart, Sharkwater Director

The local medical examiner for the Florida county where Rob Stewart died this past February has determined the filmmaker and conservationist came up for air too quickly after a deep dive, suffered hypoxia at the surface and subsequently drowned.

The website for the Florida Keys newspapers Reporter and Keynoter obtained a copy of the coroner’s report, which said:

“. . . based on the information available to me at this time it is my opinion that both Peter Sotis and Robert Stewart suffered acute hypoxia at the surface. Once Mr. Stewart lost consciousness he lost control of the breathing loop and drowned. Therefore, it is my opinion that the cause of death is best certified as Drowning with the manner of death classified as Accident.”

A month after his death, the Sharkwater documentary director’s family filed a lawsuit against Peter Sotis, Stewart’s Rebreather (CCR) instructor and buddy on his final dive, and Sotis’s company Add Helium after declaring his death was a preventable tragedy.”

Check out the full story about the coroner’s report at