MIAMI (AP) _ Coast Guard officials say they have found dive gear in the waters off the Bahamas where a Texas diver went missing.

U.S. and Bahamian authorities have been searching for John E. Petty of Longview, Texas, since Sunday night. Petty was last seen by other divers on a commercial shark diving venture about 20 nautical miles northwest of West End on Grand Bahama island.

Petty was among eight divers in the group. Coast Guard officials say the captain of the commercial dive vessel alerted authorities when Petty failed to resurface.

Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said Wednesday that a ``substantial amount'' of dive gear had been found within the search area, but it could not be immediately confirmed that the gear belonged to the missing man.

(Photo: Bob Levey / 2010 Getty Images)