This time, they were successful.
At 12:09 p.m., they found his body in 36-degree water, 3 to 4 feet deep, near the riverbank, not far from the Manayunk pub where he was partying the night before Thanksgiving.
Family members - including his mother and father, Karen and Kevin Montgomery - were despondent as they stood on the banks of the river when the discovery was made.
The outcome had been foreshadowed Dec. 21 when the same divers from the Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit plucked Montgomery's keys from the Schuylkill just off the riverbank, about 800 yards upriver from the site of Saturday's discovery.
"Today we have done what we promised. We found and brought Shane home," Montgomery's parents told reporters and posted Saturday on their Facebook page, Help Find Shane Montgomery.
They thanked the Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit, the Philadelphia Police Department, its marine unit and Northwest detectives, and St. John the Baptist, the Catholic church that has been the gathering place for search parties.
"We want to thank everyone for their support, prayers, and love and ask that they continue to pray for our family at this trying time. At this time we ask that you please respect our privacy. We need time to mourn together as a family."