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Pinehurst man goes missing during dive in Cayman Islands

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David Byles, 57, of Pinehurst, went missing while diving in the Cayman Islands. David Byles, 57, of Pinehurst, went missing while diving in the Cayman Islands.
PINEHURST, N.C. -

A Pinehurst musician went missing Sunday during a diving excursion off a popular beach in the Cayman Islands.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service says 57-year-old David Byles was last seen Sunday morning during an organized dive at Barracuda Wall off Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach.

Police said Monday that Byles had surfaced with his wife and they were swimming the roughly 100 yards (90 meters) back to the boat when he vanished from view. An immediate search of the area by the boat's crew failed to find him.

Since then, police divers and various other personnel have conducted marine and air searches. Private boats are helping. But no sign of the North Carolina man has been found.

Friends of Byles said he works in sales and is also known in the Pinehurst community as a drummer in a number of local bands, including Ad Nauseam, House Call, Jazz Kings and the Sandhills Community College jazz band.

Byles also previously played professionally with Herbie Hancock, friends said.

Al Hill, the senior pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship, said David and Rita Byles are important members of the church. David is the chairman of the church council, and Rita is the office administrator.

"They are very important in our fellowship," Hill said. "We are a family and very close to one another, so this is a concern for all our community."

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