David Ley, of Toms River, was on a diving trip in Florida Thursday when he was found unresponsive about four miles from shore near Jupiter.
A boat captain tried to help Ley, but there was nothing he could do.
Ley had served as a member of the Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, and was also an EMT with the Plumsted Township Fire District #1.
Fire departments shared their memories, feelings, and condolences on Facebook:
"It's with great sadness that we announce one of our Per Diem Firefighter/EMTs lost his life today. Firefighter David Ley was in Florida, when he had a sports related incident. He was a great friend and co-worker to many, always happy and willing to help out. He will be greatly missed," the Plumsted Township Fire District #1 wrote.
"It's not the years in your life but the life in your years. Today we celebrate the life of Firefighter/EMT David Ley. David was a Per-Diem Employee of our department and may not have been a member of FMBA#89 but he was a true supporter of FMBA#89 and for that we will NEVER forget the smiles and Laughs David gave us every shift he worked. He was a true brother to emergency services and his name will live in legend in our station walls," Plumsted Township FMBA #89 wrote.
"It is with extremely heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of one of our members, firefighter David Ley. He was a beloved member of many emergency services including fire and first aid. We will always remember you and all of the amazing things you did in life. We are all better for having known you. Rest In Peace Dave (Fish n' Chips)," Island Heights Volunteer Fire Co. 1 wrote.
The cause of death has not yet been released by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office.