by Karen Dawn
On day three of the search, Rob’s body was found at the bottom of the ocean he loved, 300 ft from where he was last seen alive. It seems most likely that he passed out and sank, painlessly, doing what he loved. I will leave the piece below intact, because now more than ever we can honor him by watching and sharing his beautiful work, his legacy.
Rob Stewart: Missing Canadian film-maker’s body found in Florida
4 February 2017
So happy to be shooting #Sharkwater2 with the best cameras and equipment in the world. For the first time I can show you sharks through my eyes, because the cameras can shoot that fast, and high res enough for you to see the personality in sharks’ faces that people who spend their lives with sharks fully understand.
Just before sunset on Tuesday, he surfaced from his third dive of the day, a dive of 200 feet, just off the Florida Keys. His diving partner was pulled onto the boat, then immediately passed out. As the crew attended to his partner and turned the boat around to pick up Rob, he disappeared. The crew thinks he may have also passed out and floated away.
The divers had been using closed-circulation rebreathing devices, which are considered riskier than standard scuba equipment, but they allow humans to dive without blowing bubbles that can spook sharks. Rob wants us to see the creatures he adores as close up as possible.
Rob is wearing a dry suit. Because it contains his body heat, it precludes using thermal imaging scanning technology at night and so has slowed down the search. But the coastguards have said it also gives him the best possible chance of survival, and that the conditions couldn’t be better, which is why the search is still going at full force after two days.
Tyler MacLeod, a close friend and Sharkwater production manager, tells us that thirty-six year old Rob is a strong swimmer and diver. People have survived for days in the current conditions. Not only is Rob strong, many of us consider him to be blessed. If anybody is going to be gently nudged to shore by a dolphin, or, in his case, more likely a shark, it is Rob.
MacLeod also says that Rob taught him about the power of manifesting, and he asks all of us to use our thoughts to manifest Rob’s safe return. I was struck by that call as I am currently rereading Wayne Dyer’s beautiful book, Manifest Your Destiny. It is about the power of focusing one’s thoughts, energies and intentions. It is important to note that manifesting your destiny is not necessarily the same as manifesting your desires, though they are generally connected.
Rob’s destiny is surely to help us save sharks, to save the oceans, to save life on Earth. All who know him would say that is also his number one desire. Our desire for him to live many more decades to continue to inspire us energizes the search. But, thinking about Rob’s actions, and the risks he takes, we should acknowledge that long life is not his number one priority. While we all hope it is part of his destiny, it may or may not be so.
Unable to think about anything else yesterday, I watched Sharkwater, hoping I was honoring him more than worry possibly could. By encouraging others to watch his wonderful movie, I am doing my best to help him in his mission. Unless you are already absolutely in love with sharks, and passionately committed to saving our oceans, Sharkwater, available for free on Vimeo, will change the way you see the world.
Watch it today, and share it. No matter where Rob Stewart is right now, miraculously alive, or blissfully returned to the oceans he adores, I know that would please him. And it will help manifest both his most cherished desire and his destiny.