More than £120,000 has been raised in the search for the director of award-winning documentary Sharkwater, who went missing during a scuba dive.
Rob Stewart directed and narrated the hit film and was working on a sequel off the coast of Florida on Tuesday when he disappeared.
In an update on the official Facebook page for Sharkwater posted on Thursday evening, Tyler Macleod – who produced Rob’s 2012 film Revolution – said the team were working with the coast guards but asked for help from anyone with aircraft with night vision capabilities.
The US coast guard confirmed it was searching the Atlantic off the Florida Keys for the Canadian film-maker.
The GoFundMe page details that Rob was diving close to Islamorada Florida – a group of islands off the mainland – adding that the 37-year-old was last seen on the surface at 5pm on Tuesday.
By Friday, more than 150,000 US dollars (£120,000) had been raised – with donors commenting “Keep the faith” and “We’re with you Rob. Keep fighting”.
The page said funds will be used to support search efforts, with excess money donated to Fin Free to address the “global slaughter of sharks”.
The film-maker, wildlife photographer, conservationist and writer is a self-confessed “shark lover” and the 2007 documentary argued that the creatures are misunderstood.
The film was being followed up by Sharkwater 2, which is expected to be released later this year.