The body of missing Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart has been found in Florida. The 37-year-old director was reported missing while diving with three of his friends on Tuesday (31 January).

He was found "peacefully in the ocean", a statement on his Sharkwater website said.

The US Coast Guard had been searching for him soon after his disappearance near Florida Keys. On Friday evening, shortly after announcing they would be suspending their search, the crew tweeted that they had found a body.

"We're confident that we've done everything we can. Our hearts go out to his family and friends," a spokesperson for the US Coast Guard said, adding that they searched a 5,500sq mile area (14,244 sq km).

Multiple boats and an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter were deployed for the search operation.

The spokesperson also said that Stewart was "diving on a wreck off of Islamorada" with friends when he went missing. He resurfaced after the dive, but went back under even as the boat prepared to pick him up. His friends completed their dive and returned to the boat safely.

Stewart's sister Alexandra Stewart told CBC Toronto that he had gone for a "particularly difficult" dive, going to a depth of nearly 70m.

Stewart was best known for his 2006 documentary Sharkwater, an examination of global shark hunting and its impact on the ocean ecosystem. He was also active in underwater filming.

He won national acclaim for his documentary, taking home more than a dozen awards.

Stewart was in Florida filming a sequel for Sharkwater, according to his social media accounts.